Right To Privacy

As a bit of a computer geek myself, I can think of several non-obvious effects that enacting a Right To Privacy online should have.

  • It should increase Internet Speed. Why? Because the tubes are no longer being clogged with tracking scripts and other surveillance-related traffic.
  • For similar reasons, Energy Efficiency should get a small boost: tracking scripts aren’t being served by data centers, sent over the internet, or consuming your phone’s battery when run. IT, and data centers in particular, use a surprising amount of electricity.
  • Continuing with the trackers, the Rare Earth Crisis should be slightly reduced. If your browser or other programs are constantly running unnecessary scripts, they’ll slow down a lot. And if your computer is slow, you’re a lot more likely to throw it out and buy a new one.
  • Internet Crime should be reduced. Tracking ads can be a source of malware, and data breaches are less devastating if there’s less data to steal in the first place.
  • I don’t need to be a computerphile to know this, but Capitalists should probably be unhappy about the new regulations on tech companies.

in fact, the dilemma to that asks about right to privacy already takes this into account!

Come to think of it, Crypto Currencies should also have a rather big effect on that. The biggest players there basically buy privately owned powerstations to run their server farms!

Agree with all your points

I agree on all of these. and will make a note, although it can be a case of some effects being too small to measure, and involving some cluttering of the UI. I’m of course happy to be proven wrong by any stats/studies that show these effects to be larger than expected.

I am well aware of the huge energy and environmental cost of data centers and web traffic, but how much of that is really tracking cookies compared to the vast amount of data that a million people simultaneously streaming netflix amounts to?

I definitely agree I need a knock to capitalists on this policy though…

Also, its worth considering that a ‘right to privacy’ is quite all-encompassing, and is likely to not just be computer related, but to affect CCTV cameras on private property, old fashioned snail-mail spam (junk mail), and a lot of form-filling in the real world, plus physical device privacy (does alexa get to record you 24/7). The GDPR or cookies/malware debate is just one part of the wider issue of how much the state protects the privacy of citizens.

edit: and a related topic for consideration: Should the right to privacy increase crime? because we must assume it hampers the efforts of the police. if they can NOT demand amazon hand over alexa recordings, if they can not seize CCTV data, and so on, that can make it easier for criminals to get away with stuff :smiley:


It would at the very least decrease the effects of police/intelligence agencies on crime.

Might shift crime around from one kind to another although, and maybe that’s naive, overall I suspect it’s a net positive effect (meaning less crime overall)

Makes total sense, although it bears the complexity of the unspoken question of how the state’s seizure of private information is met by a different regulatory standard than in the case of a private body. I can’t think of many countries that would hold their intelligence agencies to the same data protection standards as a supermarket chain.

@cliffski If you’re this granular, then you should increase government spending and lower productivity (GDP perhaps?) of countries with Right to Privacy. This covers the continuous law making, the cost of enforcement from the government, the up-front and continual training and development costs of companies to comply, the companies work-cost to handle each privacy request, and the reduced incentive to start a business.

Someone suggested that we model bureaucracy as a value, and I think that might be interesting, especially for countries like italy that seem to have a lot of it, and acts as a drain on GDP. Its tricky though because I think its very much culturally based. For example, a right to privacy could be sensibly written, interpreted and administered with no ill effect, or it could be a byzantine over-complex loophole-filled nightmare of bureaucracy, but its not 100% clear what makes one country have the former, and another the latter.


EU has GDPR which incurs work on every company that operates in the region, as well as companies whom might deal with data from the region. I mean, that’s quite clear-cut as a lowering of productivity for companies and cost increase for all governments :stuck_out_tongue:

As a secondary point: Why don’t Capitalists like Right to Privacy? Most company owners don’t like it because of the cost and time needed to comply. Some companies make money off of personal details, but those are a minority and can hardly represent Capitalists as a group on their own. So if Capitalists dislike it, shouldn’t that mean that businesses are less productive with it?

it could be argued that capitalists dislike it because it reduces the possibilities of targeted advertising and marketing, so it makes it harder for them to efficiently reach their customers. I guess if thats true… you are right, it should reduce GDP or business profits, but would that be through productivity? i guess its only the productivity of the marketing dept that is affected :smiley:


It could be quadratic in nature - that is slow increase in first half and then slightly faster increase in latter half, so you don’t max out all policies.

Then there could be script that lowers or increases bureaucracy.
Education, technology, corruption and few others also could change volume of bureaucracy.

I would agree with that too, and also that that isn’t a loss of productivity, but profitability.

However, I think the biggest loss is within compliance and handling privacy requests. You now have to have a GDPR compliance officer in your business, you’ve got to write a privacy policy that should contain XYZ. What is XYZ? What does that mean in our context? Who will write the policy? What do we do if someone requests that we send them all the data we have on them? How will our company processes be affected if a person requests detail deletion? How will our software handle missing pieces of information? etc etc.

Just learning about if you’re affected, paying people to get you compliant, continuously review law changes, and make changes in your business processes and products to support Right to Privacy… ouch. I like Right to Privacy personally, but I’ve seen the effect it has on businesses up close and it’s impactful.

Man, if bureaucracy were a value, my games would be fucked. If it’s included, perhaps it could at least decrease unemployment? The notion recalls half the episodes of Yes Minister https://youtu.be/gmOvEwtDycs?t=55

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Ha, yes bureaucracy explains about 90% of the employment in the UK civil service :smiley: Or at least it did in the 1970s, during yes minister’s time. A friend who runs a business in Italy gives me a strong impression that things are similar in modern italy.
It would be quite interesting to add it to the game, for sure.