Snippet: Forget A TikTok Ban, We Need To Regulate Data Brokers And Pass A Real Privacy Law ☇

Shared on March 21, 2023

Karl Bode for Techdirt:

And they don’t want to actually fix the mess they created. U.S. corporations don’t want to make slightly less money under a policy framework that empowers consumers, and the U.S. government doesn’t want to have to get a warrant for all of that data it buys from brokers.

So you get what we have here: a big dumb performance in which we pretend that banning a single app actually does anything of use. After all, the Chinese, Russian, and U.S. governments can all just buy data from the poorly regulated data broker market. They don’t need TikTok for surveillance and propaganda; they have plenty of data brokers and U.S. tech giants for that.

At the point, it’s irrelevant if TikTok is siphoning data to the Chinese government—our lawmakers are posturing instead of doing something beneficial for the people because we already know that plenty of other places (grocery stores, streaming devices, internet providers, and social networks) are vacuuming up and selling data about us whether we like it or not.

A bit of a related note, my Instagram was suspended this weekend without me even posting any content (presumably accessing it on my computer with an ad-blocker-equipped browser was enough?) That leaves me a little extra salty towards the Facebook Meta empire.

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