Curated Resource ( ? )

Consent Theater

Consent Theater

my notes ( ? )

Doctorow on understanding how vital GDPR is in combating "consent theatre".

Opening point: if "we “fix” Facebook, making it possible for you to take your data and go to a rival service... Do you need to get all your friends’ consent?" According to Big Tech, we can't force them to "give people their own data back... It’s ... so entangled that we alone are entitled to control it.” And Big Tech owns it, because "Everyone clicked “I agree"...

These agreements are “Consent theater”, ... a sociopath’s charter: “Yes, I stabbed you 11 times, but you agreed that I could when you came close enough to read my ‘By reading this sign, you give consent for me to stab you’ sign.” "

So what if "we held commercial consent to the same standard as our personal relationships?" That way consent would only be valid if:

  • fully understood
  • no coercion or pressure
  • can be withdrawn at any time, without penalty.

That's the GDPR, which "calls tech’s bluff. If you really think all your customers understand and agree to everything you do to them, well, let’s ask them and see if that’s true... requiring opt-in dialogs for every data use".

Big Tech, of course, are not complying, even in the EU, and "EU enforcers haven’t held them to account."

The other side of consent theatre is that the texts we agree to mean we give consent to Big Tech to do things we would never normally need to give consent for. Why? " so they can change the social rules so you need their permission to do anything".

Privacy, personal data and the consent to use it are a horribly complicated crab-bucket of law and norms. It's made so much harder by where we are today, with trillions of personal datapoints collected using the fiction of consent and stored "inside the silos of privacy-invading consent-theater impresarios with billions of dollars and a longstanding culture" of not respecting basic human rights like privacy.

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See also: Social Media Strategy , Content Creation & Marketing , Social Web , Politics

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