Today the Guardian brings us the news regarding the new legislation on personal data. The interesting starts with the image of Google and not Microsoft, which is a first item in all this. I will get back to this. The info we get with ‘New legislation will give people right to force online traders and social media to delete personal data and will comply with EU data protection‘ is actually something of a joke, but I will get back to that too. You see, the quote it is the caption with the image that should have been at the top of all this. With “New legislation will be even tougher than the ‘right to be forgotten’ allowing people to ask search engines to take down links to news items about their lives“, we get to ask the question who the protection is actually for?
the newspapers gives us this: “However, the measures appear to have been toughened since then, as the legislation will give people the right to have all their personal data deleted by companies, not just social media content relating to the time before they turned 18“, yet the reality is that this merely enables new facilitation for data providers to have a backup in a third party sense of data. As I personally see it, the people in all this will merely be chasing a phantom wave.
We see the self-assured Matt Hancock standing there in the image and in all this; I see no reason to claim that these laws will be the most robust set of data laws at all. They might be more pronounced, yet in all this, I question how facilitation is dealt with. With “Elizabeth Denham, the information commissioner, said data handlers would be made more accountable for the data “with the priority on personal privacy rights” under the new laws“, you see the viewer will always respond in the aftermath, meaning that the data is already created.
We can laugh at the statement “The definition of “personal data” will also be expanded to include IP addresses, internet cookies and DNA, while there will also be new criminal offences to stop companies intentionally or recklessly allowing people to be identified from anonymous personal data“, it is laughable because it merely opens up venues for data farms in the US and Asia, whilst diminishing the value of UK and European data farms. The mention of ‘include IP addresses‘ is funny as the bulk of the people on the internet are all on dynamic IP addresses. It is a protection for large corporations that are on static addresses. the mention of ‘stop companies intentionally or recklessly allowing people to be identified from anonymous personal data‘ is an issue as intent must be shown and proven, recklessly is something that needs to be proven as well and not on the balance of it, but beyond all reasonable doubt, so good luck with that idea!
As I read “The main aim of the legislation will be to ensure that data can continue to flow freely between the UK and EU countries after Brexit, when Britain will be classed as a third-party country. Under the EU’s data protection framework, personal data can only be transferred to a third country where an adequate level of protection is guaranteed“, is this another twist in anti-Brexit? You see none of this shows a clear ‘adequate level of protection‘, which tends to stem from technology, not from legislation, the fact that all this legislation is all about ‘after the event‘ gives rise to all this. So as I see it, the gem is at the end, when we see “the EU committee of the House of Lords has warned that there will need to be transitional arrangements covering personal information to secure uninterrupted flows of data“, it makes me wonder what those ‘actual transitional arrangements‘ are and how come that the new legislation is covering policy on this.
You see, to dig a little deeper we need to look at Nielsen. There was an article last year (at http://www.nielsen.com/au/en/insights/news/2016/uncommon-sense-the-big-data-warehouse.html), here we see: “just as it reached maturity, the enterprise data warehouse died, laid low by a combination of big data and the cloud“, you might not realise this, but it is actually a little more important than most realise. It is partially seen in the statement “Enterprise decision-making is increasingly reliant on data from outside the enterprise: both from traditional partners and “born in the cloud” companies, such as Twitter and Facebook, as well as brokers of cloud-hosted utility datasets, such as weather and econometrics. Meanwhile, businesses are migrating their own internal systems and data to cloud services“.
You see, the actual dangers in all that personal data, is not the ‘privacy’ part, it is the utilities in our daily lives that are under attack. Insurances, health protection, they are all set to premiums and econometrics. These data farms are all about finding the right margins and the more they know, the less you get to work with and they (read: their data) will happily move to where ever the cloud takes them. In all this, the strong legislation merely transports data. You see the cloud has transformed data in one other way, the part Cisco could not cover. The cloud has the ability to move and work with ‘data in motion’; a concept that legislation has no way of coping with. The power (read: 8 figure value of a data utility) is about being able to do that and the parties needing that data and personalised are willing to pay through the nose for it, it is the holy grail of any secure cloud environment. I was actually relieved that it was not merely me looking at that part; another blog (at https://digitalguardian.com/blog/data-protection-data-in-transit-vs-data-at-rest) gives us the story from Nate Lord. He gives us a few definitions that are really nice to read, yet the part that he did not touch on to the degree I hoped for is that the new grail, the analyses of data in transit (read: in motion) is cutting edge application, it is what the pentagon wants, it is what the industry wants and it is what the facilitators want. It is a different approach to real time analyses, and with analyses in transit those people get an edge, an edge we all want.
Let’s give you another clear example that shows the value (and the futility of legislation). Traders get profit by being the first, which is the start of real wealth. So whoever has the fastest connection is the one getting the cream of the trade, which is why trade houses pay millions upon millions to get the best of the best. The difference between 5ms and 3ms results in billions of profit. Everyone in that industry knows that. So every firm has a Bloomberg terminal (at $27,000 per terminal), now consider the option that they could get you that data a millisecond faster and the automated scripts could therefor beat the wave of sales, giving them a much better price, how much are they willing to pay suddenly? This is a different level of armistice, it is weaponised data. The issue is not merely the speed; it is the cutting edge of being able to do it at all.
So how does this relate?
The system is about to get shocked into a largely new format, that has always been the case with evolution. It is just that actual data evolution is a rare thing. It merely shows to me how much legislation is behind on all this, perhaps I will be proven wrong after the summer recess. It would be a really interesting surprise if that were the case, but I doubt that will happen. You can see (read about that) for yourself after the recess.
I will follow up on this, whether I was right or wrong!
I’ll let you speculate which of the two I am, as history has proven me right on technology matters every single time (a small final statement to boost my own ego).