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28Jul/10Off

Human rights abuse in an OOP paradigm

This article is a first attempt to formalize an instance of OneSelf. Provide a first approach on defining such a class and its attributes/methods. Provide a possible implementation of such an object and define usage restrictions and protection.

Such an approach could be (ab)used if we continue to fail to apply strong data confidentiality and true segregation of duties.

Controls within organizations and governments are not adequate. End user education regarding disclosure of personal data is also essential.


In the domain of object-oriented programming an object is usually taken to mean a compilation of attributes (object elements) and behaviors (methods or subroutines) encapsulating an entity. In this way, whilst primitive or simple data types are still just single pieces of information, object oriented objects are complicated types that have multiple pieces of information and specific properties (or attributes).

Concept Analysis

Below is an oversimplified attempt to describe the implementation of a Human class. Technologies capable for correlating and capturing data are already in place. So lets start our "fictional" scenario!

1. Welcome to Life

A Human gets borned (instantiation of class Human -> HumanXYZ). Once a new Human is borned it automatically acquires an ID.

A Human's first ID card  consists of at least the following personal attributes:

  • Sex
  • Weight
  • Religion
  • Time of Birth and location
  • Summary of health
  • Your doctor name
  • The National ID of your physical parent (this points back to number 1 for the specified person reference key cannot be NULL)
  • Country of residence and registered address
  • Temporary eye color
  • Race categorization
  • FOR FUTURE USE (marketing/recruitment etc...) : DNA analysis may also provide: Expected life time, probabolities of illness, mental capabilities etc..

Because an infant's health during its first couple of years of life is unstable (due to body adaptation to earth environment hazards) the infant will have several visits to a hospital/doctor.

By the time a Human reaches pre-school age the main data holder is the health care system and some government body.

2. Develop

Getting an education at an early age is common for developed countries and is considered de facto. Other information a Human has acquired by the time it reaches the age of 15:

  • National ID card
  • RFID Passport (For your convenience)
  • Education progress (how well the human is performing in acquiring predefined knowledge and other behavior characteristics)
  • Google/Hotmail/Yahoo mail . Geolocation based on IP and association with mobile number required by Google mail !
  • Social network account. Geolocation based on triangulation/GPS/IP
  • Mobile number. Geolocation based on triangulation/GPS/IP
  • School ID, other associations
  • Bank account (prospect customer data)
  • Possible criminal record
  • Internet access
  • Mobile customers are required to provide formal proof of ID

So stage 2 data holders are:

Goverment, mobile operators, multinational corporations, financial institutions your local store or dealer

3. Locking in

  • Biometric Data uniquely identifies a person
  • Getting a public transportation card
  • Buying a vehicle and issuing a vehicle insurance
  • Acquiring a credit card and carrying out online or offline purchases
  • University/college education
  • DNA test (if DNA data has not been captured during birth)
  • CCTV images

All of the above data is already being used by a large number of companies (commercial or government owned). Either for marketing or for other reasons.

Lets assume now that big goverment/coorporation X is suddenly interested into PersonXYZ for XYZ reasons.

Lets see if we can find out who PersonXYZ and his latest location!

1. Create psycological profile and social trends of PersonXYZ. We will use metadata analysis from correlated data from  Stage 1 and 2 data holders

Data include:

  • E-mail
  • Social networking activity
  • Communication patterns with other Person instances. Run analysis 1 for each connected entity
  • Create status profile
  • Ascribed status
  • Achieved status

All we need is a good team with skills in the following disciplines:

  1. Mathematics
  2. Statistics
  3. Sociology
  4. Psychology

One might be thinking why would anyone want to find out so much about a person. Some possible reasons are:

  • Recruitment
  • Suspect for terrorism
  • Human behavior profile matching
  • Research
  • Marketing
  • .....

What you end up is a full profile of a Human Instance describing :

  • Where this person is
  • Where he has been
  • Who he talked to
  • What are his habits
  • What are his needs
  • Who this person and his environment are
  • What type of a person is

By running an analysis on the above data, it is possible to profile a person and his character. Chances are that they know better than you who you are!

Information Custodians

Some of the required data is public, some of the more confidential data is private and access may be somewhat more difficult to obtain. Where private data is kept most of the times there is already a regulation controlling access. Off course under specific circumstances access to such data may be obtained , although it may not be "legal". So where do we need to apply strict regulations regarding confidentiality and access control?

  1. Health care system
  2. Governmental system
  3. Various private organisations
  4. Financial institutions
  5. Internet providers
  6. Academic institutions
  7. Telecom providers

****Cardholder data and transactions automatically correlate other information such as travel/lifestyle etc...

All of the above organisations must implement technologies which monitor and capture reliably all access to one Person's data. A Person must have the ability to query any of the above entities and they should be obliged to provide a report to the data owner (the actual person) showing :

  • Who accessed their data
  • What kind of data the entity holds

You might be wondering how could one entity have access to all this data, which essentially belongs to different entities. Corp X would never give its data to Corp Y. This is actually true.

However globalization plans getting into place, you might find out that several different corporations basically are being controlled/owned by the same people. Don't forget that corporations and specific strong lobbies, are essentially controlling the governments.

Controlling the controller

The following requirements must be fulfilled in order to ensure the successful operation of protecting privacy rights.

  • The regulatory body must be sponsored by the people
  • The regulatory body will be an independent organization belonging to the people
  • All actions/decisions/financial information of the body must be published
  • Control audits must be made public

All rights reserved

A global Person database is not far from happening , one way or the other. It already exists. Running a method such as getPrivateData() will soon be possible. The developed world has managed to put an "All rights reserved" license on your personal data and the different organizations/government as the legal copyright owner.

You might be wondering how did they managed to get the legal rights to your personal data without your consent. Well you will find out that at some point you have signed a paper/ticked a checkbox which maybe not explicitly, but implicitly says that your private data is no longer under your control.

What would happen if you denied to give up your rights ? Most likely you would not be able to get medical care, no right to vote, no right to make any legal claims etc. Even worse you would probably be first level suspect for "terrorism".

Some of the questions that arise from all this are:

  • Can we really control the controller?
  • Is it possible to identify reliable at any time who had access to my data?
  • I want full anonymity, can I have it?
  • Can we prevent correlation of personal data?

Imagine a world where real private information is never shown or used. All services are based on alias IDs but special protocols are used to attest that the alias is actually a "legal" instance of a HuMAn.

Posted by zero

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