Sicherheitswahn: Is technology or law the better therapy against the erosion of privacy

Jungdemokraten / Junge Linke (A left wing political youth organization that is not officially related to a political party in germany) started a project called Safer Privacy. As part of the project Constanze Kurz (Chaos Computer Club – CCC) and Jan Schallaböck (Datenschutzzentrum Schleswig-Holstein) were invited to talk about the state of affairs in privacy. The topic has been discussed extensively in recent media art festivals and other gatherings of that kind, but the mainstream public discussion is somewhat behind. According to Constance Kurz, CCC has identified hype and panic creation as an important tool used by the political forces whose agenda it is to implement new security and surveillance technologies. Despite being very critical of this kind of media manipulation, CCC is considering applying similar strategies to fight the erosion of privacy. Kurz also pointed out that security technologies and laws that get implemented often do not improve the security situation at all or address problems that hardly exist. Scientific research proving this is, according to Kurz, often held back until laws have passed parliament.

Plazes backfires at Founder Felix Petersen

I guess a good business model must also make scumbags of all sorts potential users if not paying clients. In that way I thought that Plazes was a problematic product from the very beginning. If you have things to hide, Plazes is not for you.

For the compamy’s founder, Felix Petersen, the incentives of letting the whole planet permanently know where he was, must have seemed to outweigh the loss of privacy more than for ordinary users of his application (mostly nerds like myself, who play with any digital toy). It looks like he was mistaken. Almost as strange as the fact that he thought he would get away with being in Copenhagen at Reboot while telling Next Web he was in Berlin with his sick daughter is the fact that they apparently never thought about implementing features that would give users more control over who can see their whereabouts.

This is the second time within a few weeks that a Berlin startups make fools of themselves. It seems like the bubble 2.0 guys are desperately competing with the bubble 1.0 guys about being the biggest clowns. Getting to play with VC does not seem to do good to everybody.