In addition to publishing their podcast of Irene being a badass on digital empowerment, the Financial Times have been pretty upfront about the (now somewhat obvious) horse-quackery we're finding in the tech regulation landscape.
In May, they published a piece called "Europe is Reining in Big Tech
" to amuse
for the main course of GDPR, and in it, the author Hannah Kuchler called to the fore a focus group that was trying to tackle data and privacy protection online.
A pollster tries to parallelise data protection regulation to the 1910 Highway Code that first regulated automobiles, and calls out one side of the parallel as the most dangerous technologies ever invented for everyday use.
"Betsy," says the article, "fears security breaches. And no one has time to read all the terms and conditions. But no one can agree on whether the government should be making some rules."
It seems in America, Zuckerberg is a huckster, but the government is full of frauds, and when pressed, Ms. Betsy retreats. To listen to the piece, the majority of us feel companies should be prohibited from intrusive collection, but no-one understands how to actually see that happen. Especially in a world where one is faithless in one's government.
One thing is sure - transparency matters, so if there’s anything governments can do, perhaps they should just ask for all data contracts on the Internet to be made transparent so that we can actually see who is giving what to whom. After all, we learnt a lot from what was going on behind the scene when GDPR came along. More please.
Yours in HAT,