Should free software developers have privacy?
I have started to run into various online services that collect information about free software, and free software developers, and make it easy to track particular persons. To me, this is a privacy violation.
I realize that data about who did what is out there in public, in the form of mailing list archives, version control repositories, etc. I am, obviously, fine with code being public like that. I am not so fine with personal data being collected, processed, and re-published the same way as code.
The division line here isn't between private and public data, but about data about people versus data of other kinds.
I haven't made up my mind what to do about this, yet. I do find myself wishing that the entire world would have privacy laws at least as strong as most of Europe. The big difference between Europe and the US, for example, seems to be that in Europe, you own your personal information, whereas in the US, anyone who gets a copy of it owns it. Thus, in Europe, I can make a company remove me from their database, whereas in the US I can't.
So far, whenever I talk to most people about this, their reaction is that I should hide my identity. That is, of course, a possible option. Should free software developers be required to do that in order to have any privacy?