That last try Creating the first broad national privacy law in the United States causes typical nonsense in Washington. But from the confusion in Congress and elsewhere in the US, we are finally seeing progress in defending Americans from the rampant intelligence gathering economy.
What is emerging is a growing consensus and set of (imperfect) laws that will give people real control and corporations more responsibility to tame the near-limitless collection of our data. Given all the bickering, sticky lobbying tactics and standstill, it might not look like a win up close. But it is.
Let me zoom out on the big picture for US tech companies like Facebook and Google, mostly unknown data brokers and even the local supermarket to collect data about us that could help their businesses.
We benefit from this system in a way, even if companies find customers more efficiently through targeted ads. But the existence of so much information about virtually everyone creates few restrictions on usage Abuse Conditions. It also contributes to public distrust of technology and technology companies. Even some companies that have benefited from unrestricted data collection are now saying 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 Americans need a federal privacy law that protects them no matter where they live. have members of Congress discussedbut failed to pass such a law in recent years.
The odd thing now is that big corporations, policymakers from both parties, and die-hard privacy experts all seem to agree that a national privacy law is welcome. However, their motivations and visions for such a law are different. This is where it gets frustrating.
A consortium of business and technology trade groups launched a marketing campaign that recently required a federal data protection law – but only under very specific conditions in order to minimize the disruption to their business.
They want to make sure that every federal law would override stricter government privacy laws, allowing organizations to follow one policy instead of dozens of potentially conflicting policies. Businesses can also hope that legislation passed by Congress will be less disruptive to them than anything the Federal Trade Commission, which now has a democratic majorityimplemented.
This is one of those legislative tug-of-wars that is unseemly to watch from the outside and infuriates longtime advocates of consumer privacy. Evan Greer, director of digital rights group Fight for the Future, told me she views what corporate lobbyists support as “watered down, industry-friendly laws that offer privacy in name only.”
But something emerges from behind the dirt Agreement on many essential elements of a federal data protection law. Even the biggest points of contention — whether federal law should override stronger state laws and whether individuals can sue for data breaches — now seem to have workable middle ground. One possibility is that the federal law would overrule all future state laws, but not the existing ones. And people could get the right to sue for data breaches under limited circumstanceseven in the case of repeated violations.
Laws are not a panacea for our digital privacy chaos. Even smart public policies lead to unwanted compromises, and sometimes poorly designed or poorly enforced laws make things worse. Sometimes new laws can feel pointless.
Is there any progress in protecting our data? Somehow, yes!
Some privacy advocates may disagree, but even imperfect laws and shifting mindsets among the public and policymakers are profound changes. They show that the shortcomings of America’s data collection system are resolving and more responsibility is being shifted to data-collecting companies, not individuals, to protect our rights.
“Progress looks like imperfect laws; There is no such thing. It looks like beginnings and beginnings,” Gennie Gebhart, the activism director for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a privacy group, told me.
I don’t know if there will ever be a federal data protection law. Gridlock Rules, and such regulation is difficult. But behind the lobbying and indecisiveness, the terms of the privacy debate have changed.
Before we go…
Yikes in cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency prices have been falling steadily, as my colleague David Yaffe-Bellany said shows this Cryptocurrencies are increasingly resembling risky tech stocks.
The virtual currency TerraUSD is also said to be worth 1 US dollar each and has fallen well below this level. Here’s why this is a big dealfrom my colleagues at DealBook.
The local florist now delivers for Amazon: To speed up deliveries in rural parts of the US, Amazon has experimented with paying small businesses a few dollars per package to deliver orders to nearby homes, Recode reported.
Instagram believed a new dad was interested in “disability” and “anxiety.” A Washington Post columnist explores why disturbing images have disrupted his newborn’s Instagram feed and advocates a way to do it Reset social media algorithms if they don’t work for us. (Subscription may be required.)
hugs to that
Puppppppy comes straight at your face!
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