The messy progress on data privacy

the last chance creating the first broad national data privacy law in the United States is causing typical nonsense in Washington. But from the mess in Congress and elsewhere in the United States, we are finally seeing progress in defending Americans from the rampant economy of intelligence gathering.

What is emerging is a growing consensus and a body of (imperfect) laws that give people real control and companies greater responsibility to tame the near-limitless collection of our data. Given all the bickering, tacky lobbying tactics e traffic congestion, it may not seem like a close win. But it’s.

Let me shrink the big picture in the US Tech companies like Facebook and Google, mostly unknown data brokers and even the local supermarket collect any bit of data about us that could help their businesses.

We take advantage of this system in some ways, even when businesses find customers more efficiently through targeted ads. But the existence of so much information about virtually everyone, with few restrictions on its use, creates conditions of abuse. It also contributes to public distrust of tech and tech companies. Even some companies that have benefited from unlimited data collection now say the system is in need of reform.

Smarter policy 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 data privacy law that protects them, no matter where they live. Members of Congress have discussedbut it has failed to pass such a law in recent years.

The strange thing now is that big corporations, politicians on both sides and privacy diehards seem to agree that a national privacy law is welcome. Their motivations and visions for such a law, however, are different. This is where it gets frustrating.

It started a consortium that includes commercial groups of companies and technologies a marketing campaign recently this requires a federal privacy law, but only under very specific conditions, to minimize the disruption of their activities.

They want to make sure any federal law would override stricter state privacy laws, so companies can follow one guideline instead of dozens of potentially conflicting guidelines. Businesses can also hope that a law passed by Congress will be less disruptive to them than anything else the Federal Trade Commission does. which now has a democratic majorityimplements.

This is one of those legislative tug-of-war that is inconvenient to look at from the outside and infuriates longtime consumer privacy advocates. Evan Greer, director of digital rights group Fight for the Future, told me she sees what corporate lobbyists advocate as “watered down, industry-friendly laws that offer privacy in name only.”

Behind the mud, however, it is emerging agreement on many essential elements of a federal privacy law. Even the biggest sticking points – whether federal law should prevail over stricter state laws and whether individuals can sue for privacy violations – now seem to have viable middle ground. One possibility is that federal law overrides any future state laws but not existing ones. And people could be granted the right to sue for privacy violations in limited circumstanceseven for repeated violations.

Laws are no cure-all for our digital privacy mess. Smart public policies also produce unwanted trade-offs, and sometimes poorly designed or inadequately enforced laws make matters worse. Sometimes the new laws can seem pointless.

Most people’s experience with Europe broad 2018 digital privacy regulation, the General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR, are annoying pop-up warnings about data tracking cookies. The first of two of California Digital Privacy Policy in theory it gives people control over how their data is used, but in practice it often implies filling in costly forms. And recent data privacy laws in Virginia and Utah mostly it gave the industry groups what they wanted.

Is there any of these advances in protecting our data Like, yeah!

Some privacy advocates may disagree with this, but imperfect laws and a shifting mindset among the public and policymakers are also profound changes. They show that the defaults of the American data collection system are unraveling and more responsibility is shifting to data collection companies, not individuals, to preserve our rights.

“Progress seems like laws that are not quite perfect; there is no such thing. It seems to start off in hiccups, ”Gennie Gebhart, the director of activism for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a privacy advocacy group, told me.

I don’t know if there will ever be a federal privacy law. Grid rules, and such regulation is complicated. But behind the lobbies and the decision, the terms of the data privacy debate have changed.


  • Yikes in cryptocurrencies: The prices of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are constantly falling, and my colleague David Yaffe-Bellany said that cryptocurrencies increasingly resemble risky tech stocks.

    Additionally, the TerraUSD virtual currency is expected to be worth $ 1 each and has plummeted far below that level. That’s why it’s a big dealfrom my DealBook colleagues.

  • Local florist now delivers for Amazon: To accelerate deliveries in rural U.S., Amazon pioneered paying small businesses a few dollars per package to deliver orders to nearby homes, Recode reported.

  • Instagram believed that a new dad was interested in “disability” and “fear”. A Washington Post columnist explores why disturbing images disrupted her newborn’s Instagram feed and argues for one way to do it reset social media algorithms when they don’t work for us. (Subscription may be required.)

Cub coming straight to your face!


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