privacy law: clowns to the left, jokers to the right

Lawmakers have introduced new privacy legislation that apparently no one likes.  Technology and media companies complain that the legislation could devastate the Internet as we know it.  Privacy advocates rant about the “Orwellian” misdirection they see in the proposal.

I think it can be a great sign when everybody’s unhappy with legislation like this.  It might mean that the lawmakers aren’t in anybody’s pocket – they might actually be trying to make something that works for the people, rather than trying to just make campaign money or pander for votes.

The government, the industry, and the advocates all say they want to help me.  The problem is that none of these people have a vested interest in making it easy for me:  the government is about bureaucracy rather than ease of use, the industry makes more money when I’m confused, and the advocates prefer being right to making me happy.

Personally, I’m not waiting for the law to protect my interests, and I’m not just going to trust the industry, and I’m not getting as nutty as the advocates.  I understand that technology is often used in ways I don’t like, but I also know that I can use technology to get what I want.  I want to know what advertisers know about me, I want to be able to see that data and control it.

I want it to be easy, even kinda fun.  That’s the kind of solution I want to find – let the clowns and jokers at the extremes argue with each other, there’s a great solution in the middle that would work for the rest of us.

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