Data harvesting agreement - harvest my data at your peril, or live easier and leave my data alone

Aim: To generate discussion, bring experts on board and set up a (perhaps Mozilla) Universal Data Harvesting Agreement, that people and organisations must comply with if they harvest our data.

Q: How can we stop organisations harvesting our data?
A: Make the cost far in excess of any benefit they may derive.

Q: How can make the cost for organisations harvesting our data, far in excess of any benefit they may derive?
A: Make such organisations subject to a Universal Data Harvesting Agreement, that could include:

  • The board or equivalent of the organisation must each make donations of US1,000,000 per day until the data is secured, to each in a list of non-profit organisations (including Mozilla).
  • The board or equivalent of the organisation must each have a clearly visible facial tattoo consisting of “data thief”

How could we enforce this?

Some organisations provide a service or a “service” and are not clear up front what the costs are. Microsoft comes to mind, here.

I once paid for a mobile phone “service” and got hit with enormous charges for services I did not ask for or want. I was told that I was “service provisioned” and had to pay the extortion money, despite never wanting or asking for the “service provisioning”.

My response was to “service provision” the company. They backed off immediately and now owe me more US dollars than there are atoms in the universe.

This may have worked, not because what I did back to the organisation was legal, but perhaps because if they challenged this, they would be challenging their own extortion method. Legal experts from different jurisdictions could help us here, and so could governments.

The idea is to go one better than the above two examples. It is to publicly declare that anyone harvesting my data is subject to the Universal Data Harvesting Agreement.

This may not be as simple as it sounds, as the unethical data harvesting is already happening. We need to define our scope for this.

Perhaps it could include both (possibly cross-interfering) objectives:

  1. fix the current mess
  2. make the future safe from such practices

The goal is not to have people wandering around with horrible facial confessions, but to make our data safe.

I have sown the seed. Like minded Zillans may wish to develop this into something that people can attach themselves to. It may also inspire governments around the World to do something practical to protect our data, including supporting this.

I look forward to attaching myself to a Universal (perhaps Mozilla) Data Harvesting Agreement one day, that will protect my data from harvesting and other exploitation.