How the store metaphor goes astray – Apple, Google, Amazon and others agree on app privacy
This week in California Apple, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, RIM and HP agreed to ensure privacy for apps sold in their stores.
Ensuring privacy is certainly a good thing but in this case it makes me wonder about the accuracy of the store metaphor.
These companies agreed on ensuring privacy by ensuring that apps available from their stores (or markets) always notify the users about any access to their informations like Facebook already does with FB apps.
Note that we are talking about apps that are sold by these companies but not developed by them.
It is clever to install privacy ensurance at that point as the stores and markets are the only place in which you can control the whole inventory that is on offer.
In the real world however we have similar requirements and even laws that protect privacy and security and health and so on. Only they apply to the producers of the products in question. Not the stores.
Just try to imagine a store owner being made responsible for the goods he sells that are produced by others.
In the parallel world of our digital lives the responsibilities shifted to the store owners. From a technological point of view this makes sense and on the surface even from a customers perspective.
But this shift also explains why Apple and Facebook reject anything that includes i.e. sexual imagery.
Globally acting companies that have to comply with the laws of every country they run a business in are made responsible for the goods we all consume. This finally leads to a maximum level of restriction and eventually limits each and everyone of us in our consumption.
All the more reason for meta markets to emerge!