People are bad at making choices about privacy because the choices all suck.

Until we have terms we can assert easily, and be agreed to easily, by automated methods on both sides, and are good for both sides, we’ll be stuck in the calf-cow hell where we’ve been for the duration. (To explain this, I just posted A way off the ranch.)

Until we have those terms, and methods for asserting and agreeing to them, the very idea of them will remain all but unthinkable. That’s why nearly everyone remains a boiled frog, acquiescing to a status quo that has been so normative for so long it constitutes a geology of business.

I agree that photographs are perhaps the specific use case that made Creative Commons a success. Flickr and others make it easy to choose licences for photos, and search engines make it easy to search by license. Of my 63,000+ photos on Flickr, all but a handful of private ones are licensed to encourage wanton re-use. As a result, 603 now appear in Wikimedia Commons, most of which accompany Wikipedia articles.

This is why we built Customer Commons on the Creative Commons model. It’s also why the top graphic in Time for THEM to agree to OUR terms is lifted straight from Creative Commons (whose licensing permits it). It’s also why we picked a specific use case: advertising.

Here we already have 200+ million people going to the trouble of installing ad and tracking blockers, and publishers flopping toward a middle ground of advertising that readers might allow. If we can automate that allowance, we have a beachhead for other terms that help both customers and businesses in other categories.

So let’s do it! :-)

See ya at IIW.

Written by

Author of The Intention Economy, co-author of The Cluetrain Manifesto, Fellow of CITS at UCSB, alumnus Fellow of the Berkman Klein Center at Harvard.

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