The Government Protects Our Food and Cars. Why Not Our Data?

“In fact, the United States is virtually the only developed nation without a comprehensive consumer data protection law and an independent agency to enforce it. Instead, Americans have to rely on the Federal Trade Commission, an overstretched agency with limited powers, to police privacy as a side hustle. The regulatory void has left Americans at the mercy of digital services that have every reason to exploit our personal information and little incentive to safeguard it.”

1 Like

I’m sure it has everything to do with the fact that the almost all of the giant tech consumer tech companies in the developed Western world are American (as in USA, the rest seem to be Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Russian).

The US government could be considered the largest “owner” (in a way) of tech companies in the world if you consider that the federal US government receives more revenue from tech companies than any other person or entity in the world. Yes the US government gets more revenue from tech than trillion dollar-valued Apple does. The government does it through taxation, at the corporate level, at the shareholder level, at the employer level and at the employee level. There are 12 million jobs in tech in the United States, it’s massive. If it weren’t for tech the US economy probably would have been in a recession since 2008. Obviously the money is used to fund the government (military, Social Security retirement pensions, Medicare) and is helping to keep the country from falling deep into the black hole of national debt.

Maybe this isn’t the answer you wanted to hear but it’s reality. With privacy I believe that advertising revenue would be halved. Don’t shoot the messenger.

1 Like

I agree @Free that the tech sector is a huge and vital component of the US economy. Technology plays an important role in other sectors such as health care, education, transportation, energy, AI, advanced manufacturing etc. and are changing industries and society. But it doesn’t mean that we just let data companies to continue to exploit, misuse and abuse our data. I would like to share this MIT Technology Review article that provides insight on the issue of privacy “The Real Privacy Problem”. “As web companies and the goverment agencies analyze ever more informations about our lives, it’s tempting to respond by passing privacy laws or creating mechanism to pay us for our data. Instead we need civic solution, because democracy is at risk.”