Law in the Internet Society

Regulations for data mining business

-- By MaikoHayakawa - second draft - 02 Dec 2020

1. Overview

I believe incentivizing people to learn about their choices of communication in the Internet society through supporting them with cash handouts could be a way to replace consent-based regulation of data mining business. In this essay, I discuss why current consent-based regulations should be replaced, and why cash handouts can be a replacement. I think incentivizing people to learn is important to solve problems and handouts will be an effective way to incentivize people.

2. The necessity of regulations

Regulations are needed because data miners prevent people from thinking freely. Data mined by data miners is used to create people’s next behavior and make them obsessed. People are psychologically controlled and they are prevented from thinking freely. In order to protect people’s freedom to decide what to do next by themselves, something has to be done.

However, current consent-based regulations should be replaced because they do not match the problems. If people believe there is no other choice than giving consent, consent is meaningless. In addition, the problem is not an individual one, because people’s obsessed behavior can distract others around them. Consent-based regulations neglect this influence.

3. A possible idea

My idea is to incentivize people to learn secure ways to communicate in the Internet society through providing cash handouts for those who learn them. By creating the handout application process that requires people to use secured communication tools, they can be effectively incentivized to learn about those tools. Following are the reasons why I suggest this idea.

3.1. Incentive

First of all, the main reason I suggest this idea is that it can incentivize people to learn other options and enable them to choose the options they like. When people learn that there are various options they can afford and handle, they can autonomically choose their ways.

3.1.1. The importance of incentive

I believe it is necessary to incentivize people to learn other choices in order to widen their choices. Before taking this class, I have often used data miners’ services and did not feel much incentive to learn other ways to communicate in the Internet society. I think it was because I believed that learning other ways requires me a lot of money and effort, and I did not notice that I might have had a bad effect on others by using them. However, through technical projects in this class, I started to understand that there are reasonable and safer ways. I also learned that these ways are not difficult to learn. Now I realize that what is important is to incentivize people to learn. As long as they start to learn, it is not difficult for them to acquire other choices. Therefore, replacement to the current consent-based regulations should be such measures that incentivize people to learn.

3.1.2. Exploring ways to incentivize Analogy with environmental problems - carbon pricing
Solutions to environmental problems can be a hint because the problem of data mining is similar to them in a sense that behaviors cause harm to a wide range of people and that it is important to incentivize the change of these behaviors to solve the problems. A carbon tax is one of the solutions introduced for environmental problems. The basic idea is to drive investment into cleaner options through taxing greenhouse gas emissions. Taxing data miners - no incentive
Like a carbon tax, tax can be used to incentivize tax payers to invest to decrease the amount of harm. However, taxing data miners would not be helpful, because it does not create incentive for users to learn. In order to have users learn their other possible choices, those who need to be incentivized to invest effort are users, not data miners. Taxing data miners can be a way to collect money to help people prepare necessary tools to learn. However, this money does not need to be paid by data miners. Taxing users - fairness
Then, is it the better way to tax those who use data-mining services? Taxing users might incentivize users to learn other ways. However, it seems unfair because those who make money by making users and people around them obsessed are data miners, not themselves. Cash handouts to learners
Thus, positive incentive such as cash handouts, instead of negative incentive, seems to be more fair and feasible in this context. However, just giving money to people does not ensure that they will use it for learning other ways of communication. One way to make sure that handouts incentivize people to learn is to make it necessary to use ways of secured communication in the process of making an application. For example, by accepting the application of the handouts only when people file the application by encrypted email, people are incentivized to learn how to encrypt email. By creating the application process for the handouts that requires people to use secured communication tools, they can be effectively incentivized to learn.

3.2. Financial assistance

Second, the handouts help people to pay for necessary tools to learn other choices.

3.3. Preventing distraction to others

Third, unlike consent-based regulations, this measure doesn’t neglect the influence among people. If people learn other choices and how to take them, they can protect themselves not only from direct control caused by data miners, but also from distraction caused through other individuals.

3.4. Autonomous community

Fourth, this measure can help people to regain control and build an autonomous community, instead of giving a central controller the possibility to utilize their power.

4. Conclusion

In conclusion, I believe cash handouts can be a measure to replace current consent-based regulations of data mining business, through incentivizing people to learn about their choices of communication in the Internet society.

What does learning cost? There are probably reasons why we build and operate public schools, rather than paying people money to secure their children's education from profit-making providers that are relevant here. If we want people to have better choices available, why not provide them?

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r4 - 06 Jan 2021 - 15:30:02 - EbenMoglen
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