Would You Give Up Your Privacy In Exchange For A Tax Break?

from the attention-taxation dept

There’s been some talk lately about the idea of not just giving people more control over what data is collected about them, but creating marketplaces that will let them sell their own data to the highest bidder. This is the core of the idea that Seth Goldstein has been pushing with his Root Markets offering. Rather than just having random anonymous companies create huge databases of (often incorrect) data on you that they sell (and leak) to all sorts of companies, why not be able to sell it yourself — and have more control over what’s sold and what isn’t? It seems that someone in the UK government has picked up on this idea as well, and attached it to some of the worries over new ID cards. Instead of worrying about the privacy aspects of the cards, a UK politician is suggesting allowing the sale of your data in exchange for tax breaks, though it seems like just about everyone else is distancing themselves from the idea. While it may appeal to some in a purely “free market” fashion, there would likely be a ton of additional consequences, including setting up a taxation structure that put increasing pressure on people to give up their privacy in exchange for the tax break.

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Comments on “Would You Give Up Your Privacy In Exchange For A Tax Break?”

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Libertarian guy says:

Re: Re:

You said it!

My capitalist side thought “excellent”, but my founding-fathers side thought remembered government, and corporations large enough to be government-esque, are to be feared like the plague as their goals are not my goals, so, yeah. If I were offered such a system, I’d sell it to no one. Lock it all up, then stick that ID card in a safe.

Fox (user link) says:

Broke people?

I currently make $7.25 per hour, and am not allowed to work more than 40 hours per week due to rules at my ofice. I’m 19 and I live in an appartment above my mom’s office, so I don’t pay power, water, rent, etc. Now, I’m booth prime voting age and prime age for a draft if there was one, but as you can see if you calculate it, I cannot make more than $10,800 per year of income (my job also forces me to take a month off, which cuts it a bit) and the federal income tax minimum is $11,000, so therefore I cannot pay federal taxes. Therefore, what happens to me with this law if it were in america? In effect, my data is private weather I want it to be or not due to the simple fact that I pay no taxes anyway, and therefore cannot recieve a tax cut. Yes, technically I could actually file taxes and simply get a check for this anyhow, however that raises another issue. When filling out my taxes, does it not already have a ton of data? I mean, it would have my address, DOB, SSN, Name, Phone number, etc already on my taxes. What exactly is there more that the government wants? My favorite food? Color? My shirt size? Seriously, we’re talking about the federal government here. If a company wants me to give them info and pays me for it, I might consider it, but we have an FBI in this country. If the government wants that type of detailed information on me, they shoould investigate me. The reason I pay taxes in the first place is to fund things just like the FBI to find this stuff out on their own. Don’t give me a tax break for info. Instead, raise taxes in a country where the DOW and Nasdaq both just set a record high, and then give some adequate funding to the people who need it, like say for example the NYPD or FBI or CIA.

Besides, if I was a terrorrist (no, I’m not, it’s a hypothetical dimwat) wouldn’t I be wiser to simply lie? I mean, if I was Muhammed Atta and was paying taxes and lied and told them I loves Pizza, then if they saw me in the airport in 2001 eating a ham sandwitch (which isn’t my favorite and therefore isn’t what I’d probably choose as a last meal) they’d probably let me on the plane even though I’m on a watch list, etc. If anything this kind of information could be harmful, because it creates more room for cconflicts about various suspects in everything from terrorism to basic robbery (“Oh he’s Jewish, he couldn’t have robbed a honey ham!”) This is simply a bad idea.

Which is not even to mention it opens up other issues with existing laws. If I put on my taxes that I like chocolate and then I’m on a whitness stand and they ask me “Do you prefer chocolate or vanilla?” and I say vanilla, did I just commit purgery? If I didn’t, then does that mean my taxes aren’t a valid legal document? If my taxes are valid legal documents and purgury is lying under oath, then either I’m guilty of purgery or I committed tax fraud, so I’m screwed either way from a very basic slip up.

It’s a bad idea, period.

FOX Is Actually A WEASEL. says:

Re: Broke people?

You don’t make enough money in a year to have to pay taxes so you wish the tax rate to be even higher on those who do bust their ass for a >$11,000 annual income? You little weasel, quit your job as a janitor or busboy and move out of your mother’s crawlspace. Be a man and stand up for your self.
Never will a courtroom ask you what your favorite color or fruit is because it is not evidence or proof of innocence or guilt to any pertinent issue. Nor would the FBI not capture a suspect because he isn’t eating “his favorite sandwich”, as if all one can eat at anytime of day is one item. If you believe that than you believe you are what you eat, and you eat WEASEL, WEASEL.
In response to your comment that amongst the record highs in the DOW and NASDAQ, that money (or as you called it, funding) should be given to NYPD, and others who need it. Corporate investors are the persons who earn the money from increased share value, it is not a charity program or money grows on trees scenario.
At 19 years of age, you don’t know jack. What the hell do you do at school? Sleep?

Ryan (The Former Techdirter) (user link) says:

That's my local government!

Hey Mike,

You might be amused by this but that’s my local government!

The e+ card that they were talking about is a pretty high tech little smart card that you can use at the libraries and a bunch of other government services. It’s ironic because the town is just in the middle of urban regeneration (it’s still not too asthetically pleasing) but that should change. The town should be one of the only towns in the UK to have its whole centre rebuilt … http://www.changebracknell.com.

Just the answer the question… I probably would give up some of my privacy for a 1400 pound local tax reduction! The only thing that would worry me would be identity theft.

Thomas Haaartman says:

The co;onialists did not fight a war for independence
just to win against unfair taxed ,but for their rights as a people to be able to have a say in how theywernlt being fairly represented by their government at that time -the king and the English parlement . We stand at a crossroad in the life of our country in which we must defend our freedoms -even if it means many will die .
The colonists also fought an enemy that was bent on overpowering them and was not afraid of trying to terroize the colonists with examples of their power.
Has everyone forgotten all the innocents that dieed in the attack of 911 ? Iwiil not give up my rights as a citicen for any reason . Other nations also have gottentheir citicens to give up freedoms forr the “common good””, See what happened to them.
If we must give up any of our freedoms as Americans -We must do it as a fallen nations of people that have forgotten that the price of freedom is gotten paid for in many lives -The dead and the living , I do not like seeing any of our children die in battle But they are the courageous ones -along with all who went with them anbefore them that protect our freedoms -and many more of us as Americans to come . LLet us honor the fallen and have joy when the rest return- But we must stop those that are the enemy ,

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