Citizens’ Rights Management

Spent a delightful few hours this afternoon in Toronto at the International Workshop on Inverse Surveillance: Cameraphones, Cyborglogs, and Computational Seeing Aids; exploring and defining a reearch agenda (there’s a mouthful!). I wasn’t sure if we would be called upon to do formal presentations. We weren’t, so my formal (well, more “dress casual”) presentation went to waste–and I’m not the only one who came with a set of slides. But I prefer informal discussion anyway. I’m still not very good at the social niceties, and should probably not talk as much as I do. As anyone will tell you, when I get excited about something I start to chatter and interupt and forget my manners. Nonetheless, I think it’s an interesting way to get at some ideas.

I may blog more about the content of the workshop in the morning, after I catch up on some much deserved sleep. For now, I’ll touch on what I am working on in this area. Last year, when I led the surveillance seminar, I started assembling notes on ways of attaching privacy preference metadata to real-world communications. The idea was to draw on P3P and Creative Commons as models, and create a way of tagging RL interaction to indicate who should be allowed to copy it and under what circumstances.

Here is a pdf of the presentation, though I fear that without context it might seem pretty ambiguous.

During the discussions, Stephanie Perrin was looking for a replacement for the term “DRM” that focussed on the use of licensing and controls by individuals against corporations and governments (and other individuals, I guess). I’m not sure we need a new term — this bunch, and especially Steve Mann, are serious neologophiles — but if we do, I suggested CRM: Citizens’ Rights Management.

Anyway, time permitting, I’ll have some more notes tomorrow.

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3 Comments

  1. stefanos
    Posted 4/14/2004 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

    cool slides;

    I got fustrated cause there was so much to talk about but no time.

    your slides are great and give a different angle than steve’s.

    I have several patients with memory loss and if you wish, we can try a sample med chart within a secure med blog that give the data from the patients perspective. I have my father in law who could volunteer and would enjoy playing around with this idea.

    email me if you are interested. there is a whole theory to getting the memory prosthetic ideas into the realm of practical application.

    stef

  2. Shin'ichi Konomi
    Posted 4/18/2004 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    Interesting ideas!
    Some questions/comments:
    -what are reasonable “granularities of context” to which preference objects are attached?
    -How can we support end-users so that they can easily articulate their complex privacy-relevant preferences?
    -How could conflicts (of multiple preferences existing in a space) be solved? Can we do more than assigning a priority to each preference?

  3. Posted 4/18/2004 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

    Stef: Sounds interesting. In some ways, jumping to the med chart seems to be a particularly difficult way to go. Of course, it’s a really obvious area where individuals would like to have better control. HIPPA (in the US) doesn’t work: I’ve read over the HIPPA declarations, and signed them without honestly understanding what they meant at all. But given the difficulty of working with medical IRBs especially, I wonder if other directions might be better. Also, this needs more cooking before it’s ready for implementation. Early work needs to be more along the lines of matching a control ontology with individuals’ own common-sense (or easily apprehended) ideas of control.

    Shin’ichi: Good questions.

    -what are reasonable “granularities of context” to which preference objects are attached?

    There are really two questions here, if I understand correctly. The one you are asking is the dimensions in time and space that preferences extend to, and I would make these explicit: anyone within a particular physical space, or observing that physical space, would be bound to tag recordings of that space with an assigned preference tag.

    As a result, recorded objects that cross such zones (either someone walking through a building with a camera, or a database of phone conversations, for example) would have to be sectioned to receive appropriate tags.

    How can we support end-users so that they can easily articulate their complex privacy-relevant preferences?

    As always, this needs to be a compromise. One of the reasons I point to CC licenses is that I think they have done a good job of communicating the variety of use. Admittedly, CC licenses severely attenuate the variety of choices in licensing, but they exist as a significant step beyond “all rights reserved” and “no rights reserved.”

    -How could conflicts (of multiple preferences existing in a space) be solved? Can we do more than assigning a priority to each preference?

    I don’t know if this made the slides, but I don’t think, at this stage, there is a good way for agents to solve such conflicts. I think that they should rather warn participants of conflicts. If I generally do not like to be recorded visually, and I walk into a store with surveillance cameras, I expect my *whatever* (cell phone, pda, wearcomp, camera, mp3 player) to let me know that there is a conflict of preferences. From that point forward I would expect the camera to continue to record–with a tag expressing the preference of the recorded that this not occur–or (less likely) for the camera to shut down.

    Not to fall back on the “outside the scope” defense, but for now I am most interested in making explicit the preferences. If this can be done, I expect there may be ways to automate the process of working through preference conflicts.

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