Saturday 1 October 2011

Internet cookies: an idea for a new Article 29 Opinion

I don’t know about you, but I don’t like the language the Article 29 Working Party uses in its opinions. They are usually extremely long and legalistic. And boring.

Why can’t they develop a new way of communicating with the rest of us? Perhaps in a tone that would connect with us in a more subtle way?

Why can’t they do it in verse?

And if they were to try it in song, what might it sound like?

Well, I’ve written an anthem to mark the care with which members of the Working Party would want us to take when using the internet. You can sing the lyrics to a well known tune, which once promoted a global (American-originated) beverage. I figured that this approach might go down well both sides of the pond.

And I’m also proposing that the members sing it at the start of each of their meetings, rather than hum along to Beethoven’s Ode to Joy, or other Euro anthem. Or whatever else it is they do before they earnestly get down to a spot of data protecting.

And I would be delighted if the Article 29 Working Party might also record it and release it as a charity single on iTunes. It can be their contribution to European Data Protection Day next year.

The song goes something like this:

We’d like to teach the world to surf
In anonymity
No nasty cookies on our turf
No permanent ID.

We’re the real thing

Are you sure, are you sure?
We’re the real thing
But what if I want a bit more?
We’re the real thing
I’m cash rich time poor
We’re the real thing
How will they know me from before?

We're charged with fighting practices
All over cyberspace
Preventing bad guys adding you
To their customer database.

We're the real thing

But they know my taste
We're the real thing
And my time they won't waste
We're the real thing
I've already seen her waist
We're the real thing
Look I don't want it chaste.

There's spyware from their market place
Selling your details on the sly
To strangers you will never trace
Causing harm that's hard to rectify.

We're the real thing

Do what we say and you'll be fine
We're the real thing
Respect the guys who draw the line
We're the real thing
Can't rhyme like Oscar Hammerstein
We're the real thing
All hail the Article Twenty Nine!