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本文摘要:The US looks like a Wild West for personal data. Information gathered by companies — most prominently Google and Facebook — trades at lightning speed on advertising markets that most users do not even know exist. If search engines and soci


The US looks like a Wild West for personal data. Information gathered by companies — most prominently Google and Facebook — trades at lightning speed on advertising markets that most users do not even know exist. If search engines and social networks can turn customer data into cash, why should broadband sellers such as Verizon be excluded from the gold rush?就个人数据而言,美国看上去像荒野西部(Wild West)。企业——主要是谷歌(Google)和Facebook——搜集的信息以雷电般的速度在多数用户甚至不告诉不存在的广告市场上交易。如果搜索引擎和社交网络可以把用户数据转化成为现金,Verizon等宽带提供商凭什么要被回避在这场淘金热之外?That is the cynical, if understandable, reaction to a vote by Republican lawmakers to do away with data rules faced by cable and telecoms companies. A Federal Communications Commission regulation, adopted days before last November’s election, would force broadband providers to get permission from customers before selling on data about them. Congress has voted to reverse that requirement.这是对美国共和党议员投票废止有线电视和电信公司面对的数据规则的愤世嫉俗(如果说可以解读的话)的反应。



There are good arguments for placing limits on the owners of the “pipes” that carry the internet that do not apply to the services that travel over those pipes. Consumers already pay for internet access. Many might not be pleased to discover that the networks are making extra money by trading in their personal data. Many US broadband markets are also a duopoly. Customers unhappy with the terms of service have few options.有很好的理由对支撑互联网流量的“管道”的所有者展开容许,而对相结合管道获取的服务不拒绝这些容许。消费者早已为互联网终端缴纳了费用。


Yet a two-tier privacy regime entrenches Google and Facebook in a market where they are already dominant. Advertisers want more choice, and supported the Republican Congress’ position. The big players of search and social networking are themselves becoming unavoidable utilities.然而,这种二级隐私维护机制稳固了谷歌和Facebook在它们早已支配的市场中的地位。广告商期望有更加多自由选择,它们反对共和党主导的国会的立场。搜寻和社交网络领域的巨头本身也已变为规避没法的公用事业。

One response would be for Congress to level the privacy standards up, not down. But with the new administration bent on cutting the power of agencies such as the FCC, that is too much to hope for. It is also not clear how much consumers benefit from the “opt-in” rules that the broadband companies have been facing. Brussels adopted a regime like this, forcing websites to warn visitors that they plant tracking “cookies” for advertising purposes, and to seek approval. For most users, clicking their approval became a reflex.一个对此将是由美国国会提高(而非上调)隐私维护标准。但鉴于特朗普政府一心想巩固联邦通信委员会等机构的权力,这或许拒绝太高了。某种程度还不确切的是,消费者能在多大程度上受益于宽带公司目前为止面对的“选择性重新加入”规则。


布鲁塞尔实施一种类似于的机制,强迫网站警告访问者留意,他们为了广告目的而植入了跟踪“cookie”,为此征询用户表示同意。对大多数用户来说,页面表示同意已沦为本能反应。The debate should not be reduced to a simple choice, where companies are either required to seek customers’ approval before selling their personal data (an opt-in regime), or are free to use it unless customers say otherwise (opt out). To be effective, such a binary choice would require much better-informed consumers with more options. It is not clear to most people why — other than a vague sense of dread — they should worry about their data being shown to advertisers. By contrast, the benefits of ad-supported internet services are obvious.这场辩论不该被修改为一个非常简单的自由选择——公司或是被拒绝在出售用户个人数据之前征询用户表示同意(选择性重新加入机制),或者随便用于这些数据,除非用户说不(选择性解散机制)。

为了行之有效,这种二中选一的自由选择将依赖消息更为高阳市、享有更加多自由选择的消费者。除了模糊不清的恐惧感,多数人并不确切自己为何要担忧个人数据被获取给广告商。相比之下,由广告承托的互联网服务的益处是显而易见的。Internet users still do not know enough about the digital dossiers that have been built up about them. Internet companies have gone some way to letting their users see what assumptions about them have been sold to advertisers. But the data are tricky to find, and patchy. Sensible regulation would require that the disclosures are always one click away, and mandate periodic “push” notifications about the information being collected.互联网用户仍过于理解企业对他们创建的数字档案。

互联网公司已代价一定希望让用户看见,关于他们的哪些假设被卖给了广告商。但这些数据很难寻找,且产于零散。合理的监管规则应当拒绝信息透露通过一次页面才可已完成,并拒绝对搜集的信息公布周期性“启动时”通报。Another idea would be to give customers the option to pay for Google or Facebook — in return for seeing no advertising and a guarantee that no information is collected. Average ad revenue per US user at Facebook, for example, is $6 a month (and a fraction of that in the rest of the world). If users could pay that sum in return for Facebook’s technology protecting, rather than selling, their personal information, only a few might do so. For that few, though, the option might be very valuable — and its very existence might make all users think more about the trade-offs they are making.另一个设想是给用户向谷歌或Facebook收费的选择权——以交换条件看到任何广告,也没任何数据被搜集的确保。




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