Rebuilding the Privacy Model

Even with all the cognitive capabilities at their disposal, human beings have always retained a strong tendency of making mistakes. This has already been proven quite a few times throughout our history, with each testimony practically pushing us to find a solution of some sort. We will, on our part, find the perfect solution once we bring dedicated regulatory bodies into the fold. Having a well-defined authority across each and every area was a game-changer, as it instantly concealed a lot of our shortcomings. The whole utopia, however, had a pretty short life, and if we can be brutally honest for a second, it was all technology’s fault.  You see, the moment technology and its layered nature took over the scene; it gave people a unique chance to fulfil their ulterior motives at the expense of the others. Such a dynamic expectantly overwhelmed our governing forces, thus rendering them helpless against all the rule breakers. Nevertheless, this reality will change over time. The same has, in fact, become more and more evident in the recent past, and one FTC move should only solidify the shift moving forward.

The Federal Trade Commission has formally issued a new notice calling for an extensive lowdown in regards how tech companies handle consumer data. According to certain reports, the notice explicitly seeks a public comment on the way we can deal with various Big Tech companies’ tactics, including data collection, algorithmic discrimination, and commercial surveillance. While it might sound like a welcoming move, FTC’s decision to expedite things here comes after a lot of pressure from different groups. In 2021, some Senate Democrats even wrote a letter to FTC chair, Lina Khan, requesting the commission to reconstruct privacy regulations from the ground.

“Tech companies have routinely broken their promises to consumers,” the Senators wrote, “only to receive wrist-slap punishments after long delay.”

The concerns about Big Tech’s handling of user data have been around for a long time, but the urgency associated with them has gone up big time lately, especially over the last two years where we saw these companies using events like Covid 19 pandemic, black lives movement, and the more recent Roe V. Wade controversy etc to infiltrate people’s personal space, and consequentially, cause much higher unrest than we would have seen otherwise. Throw in all the cybersecurity lapses, and you have a situation that pretty much demands better protection of our privacy. Luckily, the public hearing, which the FTC has scheduled on 8th September 2022, will be a major step towards realizing the stated protection.

“Firms now collect personal data on individuals at a massive scale and in a stunning array of contexts,” said FTC chair, Lina Khan in a statement accompanying the notice. “Our goal today is to begin building a robust public record to inform whether the FTC should issue rules to address commercial surveillance and data security practices and what those rules should potentially look like.”

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