The latest attempt to enact the first comprehensive national data privacy law in the United States is causing general nonsense in Washington. But with the turmoil in Congress and elsewhere in the United States, we are finally seeing progress in rescuing Americans from the rampant information-cutting economy.
What is emerging is part of a growing consensus and (incomplete) legislation that gives people real control and companies more responsibility to control the almost unlimited cutting of our data. Given all the fights, the hard lobbying tactics and the grid lock, it doesn’t look like a close win. But it is.
Let me zoom out the big picture of American tech companies like Facebook and Google, mostly anonymous data middlemen and even local supermarkets collect any piece of data from us that can help their business. Is.
We take advantage of this system in a number of ways, including when businesses find customers more effectively through targeted advertising. But the existence of so much information about virtually everyone, with a few restrictions on its use, creates conditions for misuse. It also contributes to public distrust of technology and tech companies. Even some companies that have benefited from unlimited data collection now say the system needs to be reformed.
Smart policy and enforcement are part of the answer, but there are no immediate reforms – and there will be reductions. Some consumer privacy advocates have been saying for years that Americans need a federal data privacy law that protects them no matter where they live. Members of Congress have debated such legislation in recent years, but have failed to pass it.
Now, strangely enough, big companies, policy makers on both sides and privacy diehards seem to agree that the National Privacy Act is welcome. Although their motives and ideas for such a law are different. This is where he gets frustrated.
A consortium consisting of corporate and technology trade groups has recently launched a marketing campaign calling for federal privacy law – but only in very specific circumstances, to reduce disruption to its business. ۔
They want to make sure that any federal law subverts strong state privacy laws, so that businesses can follow one guiding principle rather than dozens of potentially conflicting laws. Businesses can also expect that the law passed by Congress is less disruptive to them than the Federal Trade Commission, which now has a democratic majority.
This is one of the legislation wars that is inappropriate to look at from the outside and has angered longtime advocates of consumer privacy. Avon Greer, director of the digital rights group Fight for the Future, told me she sees what the corporate lobby is advocating, such as “Watered, industry-friendly laws that offer privacy in name only.”
Behind the dung, though, is the emerging agreement on many essential elements of federal privacy law. Even the biggest sticking points – whether federal law should subordinate strong state laws, and whether individuals can sue for privacy breaches – now seem to have workable middle ground. One possibility is that federal law will repeal any future state laws but not existing laws. And people can be given the right to sue for privacy breaches in limited circumstances, including for repeated breaches.
Laws are not a cure for our digital privacy issues. Even prudent public policies create unwanted trade, and sometimes poorly designed or inadequately enforced laws make things worse. Sometimes the new rules may seem pointless.
Most people’s experience with Europe’s 2018 Digital Privacy Regulation, General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR is a disturbing pop-up notice about data tracking cookies. In theory, the first of California’s two digital privacy provisions gives people control over how their data is used, but in practice often involves filling out difficult forms. And recent data privacy laws in Virginia and Utah have given most industry groups what they want.
Is there any progress in protecting our data? Some, yes!
Some proponents of privacy may not agree, but even imperfect laws and the changing mindset between the public and policymakers are profound changes. They show that the flaws in the US data collection system are disappearing and that more responsibility for protecting our rights is shifting to data collection companies, not individuals.
Progress doesn’t look like perfect rules. No such thing. It feels like a fit and a start, “Jenny Gabbhart, director of activism at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a privacy advocacy group, told me.
I don’t know if there will ever be a federal privacy law. Grid lock rules, and such regulations are difficult. But behind lobbying and indecisiveness, the terms of discussion on data privacy have changed.
Before we go
Ah in corrupt currencies: The prices of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have been falling steadily, which my colleague David Yaffe-Bellany said shows that cryptocurrencies are increasingly resembling dangerous tech stocks.
Also, the value of the virtual currency TerraUSD is considered to be $ 1 each, and it has fallen far below that level. From my colleagues at DealBook, why this is a big deal.
Local florist now delivers to Amazon: Recode reports that in order to accelerate shipments to rural areas of the United States, Amazon is experimenting with small businesses paying a few dollars per package to deliver orders to nearby homes.
Instagram believes a new dad is interested in “disability” and “fear”. A Washington Post columnist explores why disturbing images disrupted her newborn’s Instagram feed and advocated ways to rearrange social media algorithms when they don’t work for us. (Subscription may be required.)
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