Digital privacy bill on the way?

Hope to God this makes it into law, though considering the state of things in Washington, I doubt it will get past the Senate. Sorely needed and long overdue. Also hoping Canada will get off its butt and pass something similar…our 2018 Digital Privacy Act only dealt with protocol for breaches, not collection/ownership of personal information.

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Wyden’s is I think much stronger, clearer, and includes what I feel to be a key provision: jailtime for executives.

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This is great, thanks for posting it. I’d love to see Zuck and Sandberg in jail along with a few others. As Wyden says, slap-on-the-wrist fines (which is any fine, when you’ve got as much money as Facebook and the other tech giants have) just isn’t cutting it.

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Having said that, I still view better technology and pressure against digital serfdom as the preferable option, by far. I still hold out some degree of theoretical hope for some amalgam of encryption and blockchain, but so long as everything is brokered by start-up’s, particularly VC-funded ones, that hope remains only theoretical for me.

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I don’t disagree, but I have no hope (mainly due to economic realities, like the one you cited), not even theoretical. I wish I did!

lol I was this close to editing it to say “strictly theoretical” for precisely the reasoning I perceive to be behind your perspective. Allow me to clarify that the hope stems from what I think I know about the technology’s potential. :v::smile:

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Fines should be calculated using the following formula:

Money gained by breaking the law/regulations + 50%. Real fines will absolutely make a difference if they hurt a company’s bottom line.

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I would add that the base amount should include money spent, as well. Their crime shouldn’t merely be measured by its ill-gotten gain, but by the effort they diverted to defying the law.

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Emphasis on the word “real”. We haven’t seen a real fine or anything approaching one to date. But I agree that fines like you and philodygmn describe would work, if they were ever implemented. The point of my hyperbole was that current fines, no matter how big, are a joke.

Yeah, I like the sound of that :smiley:

Would like to see something like this happen. not sure about the jail time part cause that wont happen but make the fines so large that it might put them out of business might be a better idea, and let the people sue for the rest, including government leaks haha yep dreaming there.

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Your distinction between government and corporate abuses hilights that the rights of the individual must be enforceable against any entity, inclusive of government, regardless of money’s involvement/lack thereof. Existing separation of powers would be responsible for enforcement upon government from within it.

The problem with government is that it affords the means to enforce punishments, too much of which may collapse its ability to preserve our rights, which is why I prioritize hard tech solutions above legislation.

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I don’t think it has to be (or should be) either/or, legislation or tech solutions. (I assume you don’t either, but rather, as you said prefer/prioritize tech solutions, which still leaves room for legislative measures.)

I tend to fall more on the legislation side for two reasons. First, we need to, as Andrew Keen pointed out in his last book, play moral and ethical catch-up with our technological systems, which are advancing much farther and faster than we are. (As he put it, there’s no Moore’s Law for people.) And a big part of that catching up involves changes to how our legal systems deal with technology and tech companies. In other words, we can’t have sticks-and-stones legality with digital age technology. It just doesn’t work.

Second is the economic factor, which you already mentioned in a previous post…the primary role of start-ups, venture capitalists, etc. in developing and bringing new tech solutions to market. We need to play moral/ethical catch-up in this area as well…or at least find a better way of doing it.

On the other hand, what you said…“The problem with government is that it affords the means to enforce punishments, too much of which may collapse its ability to preserve our rights.” seems to be the fly in the ointment with my legislative preference. I really have no good answer to that concern :confused:

Anyway, just my two cents. Love getting some different perspective on this issue.

Seems to me legislation on social outcomes can preserve tech’s potential. As frustrating as it is having to interpret between legal definitions and technical nuts-and-bolts, legislation of technology directly is liable to be not only obstructive of innovation but also brittle and quickly outdated.

Legislative establishment of principles does seem necessary. Wheeler’s Net Neutrality Title II was a decent example, from what I could tell, where it established bright-line rules and was relatively quite simple in its contours, however vast in implication. Similar for privacy and security I think could prove to be beneficial, as even the headiest scenarios for tech-enabled privacy and security probably would still leave a large enough number of users behind in the clutches of the aggregators that such legislation would prove important for stability to even those who have managed to move on, the keys being punishment and direct liability.

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