Summary of “You Can’t Opt Out Of Sharing Your Data, Even If You Didn’t Opt In”

We’re used to thinking about privacy breaches as what happens when we give data about ourselves to a third party, and that data is then stolen from or abused by that third party.
“One of the fascinating things we’ve now walked ourselves into is that companies are valued by the market on the basis of how much user data they have,” said Daniel Kahn Gillmor, senior staff technologist with the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy and Technology Project.
The privacy of the commons is how the 270,000 Facebook users who actually downloaded the “Thisisyourdigitallife” app turned into as many as 87 million users whose data ended up in the hands of a political marketing firm.
Even if you do your searches from a specialized browser, tape over all your webcams and monitor your privacy settings without fail, your personal data has probably still been collected, stored and used in ways you didn’t intend – and don’t even know about.
The information collected every time they scan that loyalty card adds up to something like a medical history, which could later be sold to data brokers or combined with data bought from brokers to paint a fuller picture of a person who never consented to any of this.
The privacy of the commons means that, in some cases, your data is collected in ways you cannot reasonably prevent, no matter how carefully you or anyone you know behaves.
Our digital commons is set up to encourage companies and governments to violate your privacy.
Almost all of our privacy law and policy is framed around the idea of privacy as a personal choice, Cohen said.

The orginal article.