Friday, May 11, 2007

Big Brother Awards 2007

I always liked the idea of emphasizing on the big picture when it comes to the worst privacy invadors on a worldwide basis compared to that of a particular country only. They are all interconnected to a certain extend, united under the umbrella of the common good which as a matter of fact won a golden boot in this year's Big Brother International Awards :

"PI's 'Big Brother Awards' have been running for nearly ten years, with events run in eighteen countries around the world. Government institutions and companies have been named and shamed as privacy invaders in a variety of countries and contexts. This year was the first time that Privacy International ran an international event to identify the greatest invaders around the world. The event was hosted by 'the pope', as presented by Simon Davies in full regalia. Previous hosts include 'Dr. Evil' and 'The Queen of England'."

Here are the winners in their categories :

Most invasive company - Choicepoint
Data aggregators and centralizing too much personal data in a single place makes it vulnerable even to pringles hacking attacks. Next year I'm sure Google's purchase of Doubleclick would get more attention

Worst Public Official - Stewart Baker
The way Microsoft and open source look awkward in a sentence in this very same way democracy looks awkward next to Russia

Most Heinous Government - The United Kingdom
Fully agree here. Twisting the common good is very marketable

Most Appalling Project or Technology - The International Civil Aviation Organization

I think the CCTV industry should have won here the rest are bureaucrats whose closed doors propositions later on face the public outbreak of how not to implement them. Anyway supply meets the demand for surveillance.

Lifetime Menace Award - The 'Common Good'
The main reason for the existence of today's intrusive surveillance technologies is the idea of the common good. We spy on you to protect you, we take away your civil liberties to protect you, and CCTV after CCTV you end up in a situation which can be best seen in the U.K

Related posts:
The Future of Privacy = don't over-empower the watchers!
Security vs Privacy or what's left from it
The Cell-phone Industry and Privacy Advocates VS Cell Phone Tracking
Afterlife Data Privacy