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jr conlin's ink stained banana

:: DRM Beatings

So… W3C blessed the idea of DRM (at least for video).

Granted, i, like a great many others, feel that this is the polar opposite of "free and open web", but it did get me thinking a bit.

What if we were to use DRM?

i mean you and i. What if the citizens of the web were to express the same Digital Rights Management rules and restrictions that are being imposed by the media companies on the data we're providing them? What if we DRM'd our private information?

Think about it. Your private information is a premium for companies. They want it so that they can resell it to advertisers or share it with others to make their sites more "sticky" and slap that dopamine button we all have. What if we were to impose the same restrictions on our private information as they require for movies and audio?

In essence we'd be saying, "Yes, you alone can have my full name for only this period of time, after which we can sue you for breaking the DRM we've imposed." Obviously, we'd also want each party who gets our content and online behaviors to register with us and run specific encryption to ensure that the data is only visible to the accountant, and not copyable or transferable to unauthorized systems.

After all, companies and governments have a long track record of acquiring personal information in less than scrupulous ways, so it's perfectly reasonable to presume that they're malicious parties that can't be trusted.

We could even set up consumer panels to enforce compliance. We could monitor the data being exchanged by the companies and if we found that they had acquired or used the personal data outside of the DRM provisions three times, we could simply cut them off of the internet. i'm quite sure that getting the large ISPs to monitor this won't be difficult, particularly since they would also be bound to the same restrictions.

i mean, sure, it'd be trivial to defeat our DRM, that's why we'd impose lots of different methods. Companies would have to manage thousands of potentially conflicting, buggy, and insecure applications to decrypt the data, but after all, your data is worth it, and it's not like those other 7 billion people really matter all that much anyway.

So, yeah, Private Data DRM.

It's only fair, right?

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