Friday, September 15, 2006

GikII 2.03

After lunch, the scholars/lawyers/geeks took again their places around the table in the moot court room and then Caroline Wilson opened the session on Privacy, Identity and Code with “Online and Offline Identity: Introducing the Janus Hypothesis”. There Caroline went into using scientific and social evidence from an array of fields of knowledge to show that the online/offline context of socialization during a person’s formative years determines personal concepts of identity and the delineation of the private and public self, giving to some people greater propensity in sharing what we might call their private information. Should the law intervene to protect the privacy of a generation accustomed to be exposed? Should the self regulation be allowed knowing that we might be in front of a generation that will allow invasion to its privacy, in some cases guaranteed by law, because cannot distinguish between private/public or appreciate the importance of be left alone?
David Vaile, not showing signs of the sure tiredness due to his long trip from Australia, followed comparing the current proposal for a new Australian identity card with the previous one. The analysis was quite detailed into different aspects of both schemes and it left in the air the sensation that regardless the change of name and some minor modifications we (today we are all Australians) were facing the same old wine in a new bottle or as the Latin American (or was Spanish?) saying says, “aunque la mona se vista de seda, mona queda” (Even if the monkey dresses in silk, stays a monkey).
That part of the workshop finished with Thomas Otter and the not-fairy tale “Data Protection: The Cinderella of the software industry. The explanation revolved around the issue of software makers incorporating into code regulations decided (or to be decided) by law. In a probably reverse situation (or following its natural consequence) to regulation by code in absence of regulation by law (yes, I am talking about Lessig), Thomas analysed how industries, especially the software industry, sometimes imbed into the technology they produce the existing regulations so their product or service only delivers results that are compliant with the law. However, he observed that the software industry has failed to incorporate into code data protection principles, which make data protection the battered sister of the issues that could/should be regulated by code. As others said that day, I also think that Thomas PhD idea has a lot of potential...

No comments: