Hermeneutics

I've done some stewing about the notion of hermeneutics as applied to data protection. It's significance is exactly the essence of change that differentiates rote & slavish compliance to the letter of legislative rule making from the far more interesting & challenging dimension of governance of personally identifiable information.

My name is Michelle Finneran Dennedy. So what? There are various pieces of law & cultural norms that say others cannot assume that name & pretend to be me to get stuff if the other party gives it to them \*because\* that name means good credit, or an endorsement from a friend, fellow alumna, or whatever.

My name is Michelle Finneran Dennedy takes on an entirely different significance if the context is a list:

(of the true)

of mothers;
of married people;
of children of kooky parents;
of obsessive PD James fans;
of Sun employees;
of law school graduates;
of US citizens;

(or the false)

of Swiss bank holders in the billionaire club;
of reality show participants famed for eating bugs or crying on TV;
of Holocaust survivors;
of "terrorists".

My name is Michelle Finneran Dennedy takes on entirely new starting point for, as my Sun pal Masood says, "commentary, aphorism, subtext and interpretation" after any interpretive or contextual information is associated with it. Apart from spam is bad & annoying & people ought not know you just went to the dentist & had 2 cavities filled if you don't want them too. It is this more interesting element that makes the data privacy world intensely interesting & diverse to me.

Once context habit or history is associated with a name or other element of identifiable persona, the currency of that data is changed. The ability to spend, save or add to that currency is also changed.

Thus, the necessity to seek and maintain quality interpretation context and management of these critical data assets is highlighted. The tools that must be used to manage such a powerful asset must be accordingly tuned to meet the challenge. The processes and people that must execute around it's management must be able to use the tools and respect the value of the data currency & the context in which it resides.

Applied hermeneutics. \*That's\* what good privacy folks do & hopefully \*that's\* the thought process we can apply to technology to capture the "unintended consequence" before it is actual consequence.

Thanks Masood for kickstarting this thought process!

Comments:

and of Buckeyes

Posted by smatz on January 27, 2007 at 02:50 AM PST #

The MOST important persona bits sometimes sift out-- of Buckeyes & of best friends key elements here!!

Posted by Me on January 27, 2007 at 06:39 AM PST #

Fortunately for you, there aren't many people who can truthfully say "My name is Michelle Finneran Dennedy".

There are two folk in Sun who can truthfully say "My name is David Walker", and email and snailmail mix-ups continue to happen. In the UK, 3591 people (according to http://www.yournotme.com/ , anyway) can truthfully make this statement - and two of them (one being me) can even claim to have been born in the same hospital on the same day.

Does hermeneutics have any interesting ideas on disambiguation?

Posted by Dave Walker on January 29, 2007 at 08:06 PM PST #

Well Dave, Norma Jean went Marilyn. Perhaps you could go Dave Security Maven Walker or just "Flash" or something catchy. Your persona looped around your Dave Walkerness makes you someone I would always make pains to seek out. You have privacy in your ubiquity, but your disambiguation is your track record & style. As for the Michelle Dennedy thing, while it's clearly not as common, talk to poor Michelle Kennedy who also shares some of my key persona traits. I'm sure her email box gets pretty interesting from time to time in unexpected ways. ;-)

Posted by Me on January 30, 2007 at 12:27 AM PST #

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