The year is 2019 and I can’t buy a good majority of consumer technology because we lack privacy legislation and consumer protections. Example: it’s absurd that my TV came with spyware that can’t be turned off or avoided; I had to stop it from phoning home at the network level. It also came with an arbitration clause and a clause waiving the right to a class action lawsuit.
i think the problem is not lack of legislation. the tech monopoly of big corps exists because people bought it. they sold their privacy for convenience and trendy blinking lights. furthermore, it is impossible for lawmakers to understand new technologies and to do specific laws for each new tech trap and it is impossible to stop the stupidity from people with the "it is ok, i have nothing to hide" mindset.
We don't expect people to be experts in chemistry and food safety in order for them not to get poisoned by food they buy. This is called food safety standards.
And yet we expect people will become tech and legal experts, reading through endless EULAs and understanding the fine print, and then being able to verify the tech behind it, for them to be able to protect their basic privacy?
@hansbauer @retrohacker legislators were able to create food safety standards that make getting poisoned by store-bought food impossibly unlikely. They were able to create regulations around medicines that make it highly unlikely for people to get poisoned by actual, you know, poisons (every medicine is poison in the right amount).
We can, and should, expect legislators to step in and regulate the IT industry.
Market will not solve it.
I've found this language helpful for thinking about some aspects of some of these problems:
There is some value in having people be the ultimate arbiters of what goods and services they buy.
But, to get reasonably safe and good things, we need the support of experts. And we need those experts to do their work on our behalf.
But it is *not* an independent decision if the person is misinformed or does not have enough information to make an informed decision.
Legislation is needed (among other things) to create a baseline of quality of information about stuff that matches the baseline expectations of people.
One thing that frustrates me is this marketing fiction that technology can be made so that people can do things "for themselves". The central conceit is the company can disintermediate technology, that one is communing directly with the tech gods, with no priests or middlemen or dependency.
"I appreciate SDF but it's a general-purpose server and the name doesn't make it obvious that it's about art." - Eugen Rochko