Contrary to popular belief, clicking ‘I agree’ opens you up to all sorts of things. Let’s be honest, have you ever read a privacy disclosure that most companies make you agree to?
Data policies are cumbersome and designed to discourage close reading. For example, Facebook’s data policy is over 4,000 words and links to several hundred pages of additional legalese. To fully comprehend it, you would need a law degree and a background in data sciences to truly understand what you are giving up.
Even if you could understand all the terms and had the time to read (iTunes terms are 193 pages long), opting out isn’t an option. Accepting the terms and conditions is the requirement to apply for loans, credit cards, health apps, smartphones, and so many other aspects of our lives.
Legislation To Change
Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown believes privacy is a civil right that corporations shouldn’t exploit. He authored a bill that would separate the helpful or innovative ways to use data from the invasive practices that are an everyday occurrence. The bill would protect consumers in several ways.
Firstly, it would create an agency to monitor the companies that collect information on its users. It would provide tools to hold those companies accountable. Secondly, it would ban facial recognition, which could have negative implications. The bill would scale back the uses of personal data. It bans the collection of any data not needed to provide the service they offer. For example, Facebook would not be allowed to share what you liked or are looking at frequently to advertisers.
This is a growing issue in the technology space. With several elections happening later this year, check to see what your candidate’s stance on data privacy is. We all hate targeted ads, spam emails, and robocalls, and this bill could help limit these practices.
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