Saturday, March 8, 2014

What's in it for me?

We live in a world where long standing deals are being altered regularly

Because of the framing effect, this leads to poor bargains more often than not. It's useful to bust out of the frame and retreat to the original value proposition offered by the original bargain. Take license plates. We agreed to have license plates so that quick moving vehicles could be better identified in the rare cases where they are doing something wrong. The down side was small. The effort to get at the licens plate database was large enough that there was virtually no risk of political persecution or other misuse of the identifying data.

But with plate recognition cameras being set up, the price of accessing that database has dropped down to near zero and the checks are being run continuously. Your location as you go about your legal, daily routine is being pinned down by the government and that's not a small thing.

The common frame that is being used to discuss license plate recognition cameras is that to have the cameras or not. This is not the correct frame because it assume that the prior bargain is immutable. It is not.

The correct frame is to have license plates and camera recognition systems or not to have mandatory license plates at all. At that point the conversation becomes much more interesting, no matter how we end up resolving it.