Dave Kearns continues to whack me for some of my terminology in discussing data correlation. He says:
‘In responding to my “violent agreement” post, Kim Cameron goes a long way towards beginning to define the parameters for correlating data and transactions. I'd urge all of you to jump into the discussion.
‘But – and it's a huge but – we need to be very careful of the terminology we use.
‘Kim starts: “Let’s postulate that only the parties to a transaction have the right to correlate the data in the transaction, and further, that they only have the right to correlate it with other transactions involving the same parties.” ‘
Dave's right that this was overly restrictive. In fact I changed it within a few minutes of the initial post – but apparently not fast enough to prevent confusion. My edited version stated:
‘Let’s postulate that only the parties to a transaction have the right to correlate the data in the transaction (unless it is fully anonymized).’
This way of putting things eliminates Dave's concern:
‘Which would mean, as I read it, that I couldn't correlate my transactions booking a plane trip, hotel and rental car since different parties were involved in all three transactions!’
That said, I want to be clear that “parties to a transaction” does NOT include what Dave calls “all corporate partners” (aka a corporate information free-for-all!) It just means parties (for example corporations) participating directly in some transaction can correlate it with the other transacitons in which they directly participate (but not with the transactions of some other corporation unless they get approval from the transaction participants to do so).
‘In the end, it isn't the correlation that's problematic, but the use to which it's put. So let's tie up the usage in a legally binding way, and not worry so much about the tools and technology.
‘In many ways the internet makes anti-social and unethical behavior easier. That doesn't mean (as some would have it) that we need to ban internet access or technological tools. It does mean we need to better educate people about acceptable behavior and step up our policing tools to better enable us to nab the bad guys (while not inconveniencing the good guys).’
To be perfectly clear, I'm not proposing a ban on technology! I don't do banning! I do creation.
So instead, I'm arguing that as we develop our new technologies we should make sure they support the “right to correlation” – and the delegation of that right – in ways that restore balance and give people a fighting chance to prevent unseen software robots from limiting their destinies.