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It sucks when data protection becomes the sacred cow


It sucks when data protection becomes the sacred cow

Obviously, the Internet needs binding regulations on data protection, as they are currently being discussed: Nobody wants the misuse of personal information by companies or institutions. However, it is annoying when data protection becomes the holy cow – after all, everyone still has control over what traces they leave behind on the internet or whether they are involved in it at all. There are four reasons for leaving the church in the village in the regulatory debate.

A polemic by Klaus Janke

If people who illegally download 20 films a day campaign for data protection on the Internet, that is one hundred percent understandable. Because there are people, for example in investigative authorities, who are very specifically interested in these clicks. Most of the other surfers are not relevant to the “data octopus” as individuals, but only as addressable users with certain behavioral patterns. The interest of any “Big Brothers” is notoriously overestimated. In Germany in particular, there is a certain paranoia in this regard. Indeed, it is sobering that most of the oh-so-intimate dates simply don’t interest anyone. It’s like in the offline world: Most Germans could strip at the living room window – still nobody takes out the binoculars.

In the long run, markets always live on give and take. However, the idea has become common that everything on the Internet must be free, including highly complex interactive communication offers. However, many content and network providers are still a long way from being in the black, and the investments have to be recovered. Targeting is one way of squeezing even more money out of the advertising market. Let’s just play along, so to speak, as a bonus that we can enjoy ourselves the whole day for free on Facebook – just a few browser runs in the coffee box.

The Internet has been a public platform for self-expression since Web 2.0 and is also used that way. On Facebook, all users appear young, sociable, interested in many things and creative – in many cases this is extremely embellished. So it’s about PR on your own behalf, which is carried out in a room that is openly accessible, yes, has to be, because otherwise none of this will work. This room cannot be compared with a private apartment or with a private e-mail inbox. So all statements I make on websites should be seen as public statements that I have to subordinate to my PR strategy. If, on the other hand, I want to talk about secrets, there are still enough other communication channels available, the telephone or maybe even face-to-face contact. In many discussions, on the other hand, the impression arises that one is being forced to communicate on the Internet. Just drop by your boyfriend or girlfriend, they won’t bite.

Excessive data protection lowers the level of network content. It would have a completely disinhibiting effect if child locks for statements or other publications were installed on every corner of the Internet, for example in the form of a “delete everything forever” function. However, the certainty that the Internet forgets nothing may make one or the other shy away from posting photos, making rude comments or even participating in bullying attacks without consulting the person depicted. And when I’m so afraid that my movements on the net will be evaluated by some dark force, I should – monstrous notion, I know – not even go to certain pages. The thesis is steep, but the play on words is worth it: data pollution increases with data protection.