Messy Progress on Data Privacy


that much recent attempts Enacting America’s first broad national data privacy law is causing typical nonsense in Washington. But amid the chaos in Congress and elsewhere in America, we are finally seeing progress in defending Americans from an unrestrained intelligence-gathering economy.

What is emerging is a growing (imperfect) legal framework and agreement that gives people real control and gives companies more responsibility for tame the near-unlimited collection of data. Given all the brawls and crappy lobbying tactics and deadlocks, up close may not seem like a win-win. But it is.

Let’s narrow it down to the big picture, collecting even the slightest bit of data about us, which can benefit American tech companies like Facebook and Google, mostly unknown data brokers, and even local supermarkets for their business.

We benefit from this system in some ways, including when businesses find customers more efficiently through targeted advertising. But too much information about almost everyone and few restrictions on their use creates conditions for abuse. It also fosters public distrust of technology and technology companies. Some companies that have benefited from unlimited data collection now say the system needs reform.

Smarter policies and enforcement are part of the answer, but there are no quick fixes and there will be downsides. Some consumer privacy advocates have been saying for years that we need federal data privacy laws that protect Americans no matter where they live. Members of Parliament have debated such a bill over the past few years, but failed to pass it.

Now, what’s odd is that large corporations, bipartisan policymakers, and privacy enthusiasts seem to agree that national privacy laws are welcome. However, the motives and visions for such laws are different. It gets boring here.

Start a consortium that includes corporate and technology trade groups marketing campaign Recently, federal privacy laws are required, but only under very specific conditions to minimize business disruption.

They want federal laws to take precedence over stronger state privacy laws, allowing businesses to follow one guideline rather than dozens of potentially conflicting guidelines. Businesses may also hope that the laws passed by Congress will be less destructive than anything currently implemented by the Democrat-dominated Federal Trade Commission.

This is one of those legislative tugs that are ugly on the outside and anger longtime consumer privacy advocates. Evan Greer, director of digital rights group Fight for the Future, said he thinks what corporate lobbyists are advocating is “a weak, industry-friendly law that only provides nominal personal information.”

But on the other side Consent to many essential elements of federal privacy laws. Even the biggest challenges, such as whether federal law should override stronger state laws, or whether individuals can sue for privacy violations, now seem to have a viable intermediate ground. One possibility is that federal law will take precedence over future state law, but not existing laws. And people may be given the right to sue for privacy violations. in limited circumstancesIncludes repeat violations.

The law is not a panacea for our digital privacy concerns. Even smart public policies create unwanted trade-offs, and sometimes poorly designed or improperly enforced laws exacerbate the situation. Sometimes new laws can feel meaningless.

Most people’s experience with Europe’s sweeping 2018 digital privacy regulation, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), is an annoying pop-up notification about data tracking cookies. In theory, the first of California’s digital privacy provisions gives people control over how their data is used, but in practice they often have to fill out cumbersome forms. Recent data privacy laws in Virginia and Utah Most of the industry groups provided what they wanted..

Is there any progress in data protection? okay!

Some privacy advocates may disagree with this, but even imperfect laws and shifting mindsets among the public and policy makers are staggering changes. They show that the defaults in America’s data collection systems are being lifted and more responsibility is shifting to data collection companies rather than individuals to protect our rights.

“Progress does not appear to be a completely perfect law. There is no such thing. Gennie Gebhart, activist director of the privacy group Electronic Frontier Foundation, said:

I don’t know if there is a federal privacy law or not. Gridlock rules and those regulations are tricky. But behind the lobby and indecisiveness, the terms of the debate over data privacy have changed.


  • Cryptocurrency example: The price of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is steadily falling, and my colleague David Yaffe-Bellany shows that cryptocurrencies are increasingly resembling risky tech stocks.

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  • Your local florist now delivers to Amazon. Amazon is experimenting with shipping orders to nearby homes by paying small businesses a few dollars per package to speed delivery in rural America. report.

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