Here we go again: tech executives have found themselves in front of Congress.
On Wednesday, execs from Apple, Google, Twitter, AT&T, and Charter Communications came before a Senate Commerce Committee to once more discuss mishandling consumer data and concerns over privacy rights. Congress made its intentions clear — it wants to pass federal rules on how tech companies are allowed to handle private consumer data.
It’s easy to imagine that this hearing might have gone the same way as the five that came before it — under-informed congresspeople ask softball questions, tech company execs back-pedal, question-dodge, and answer vaguely whenever federal regulation comes up.
But this time, things were different. Leaders from prominent tech companies like Apple and Amazon have stated their support for federal regulations that would protect the privacy of user data the companies collect.
Bud Tribble, a vice president at Apple and leader of the company’s privacy software efforts said: “We believe that privacy is a fundamental human right, which should be supported by both social norms and the law,” according to Bloomberg.
Other tech execs followed suit — albeit in more equivocal terms. At Wednesday’s hearing, Amazon’s vice president Andrew DeVore said the company would agree to federal regulations, but warned of “possible unintended consequences” of strong state law, according to Canadian newspaper the National Post. DeVore fears that strong privacy laws could end up defining personal data as far too all-encompassing, stifling innovation.
On it’s face, the shift seems surprising. But these companies might have a different motive than protecting their users’ privacy rights. Silicon Valley holds considerable power over Congress. Part of the reason for Wednesday’s hearing was for Congress to ask tech execs for advice on how to regulate the tech industry, according to the Department of Commerce’s website.
Regulation seems imminent. In late June, California passed the Consumer Privacy Act, which gave Californians the right to know who collected what data and ask for that data to be deleted on the spot, while the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) became enforceable in May.
Silicon Valley was generally unhappy with these laws — the California law was unpopular with some tech companies because it they fear it could seriously undermine the revenue they get from selling that data to third parties once it goes into effect in 2020; the companies rushed to comply with GDPR or face some very steep fines.
As the federal government considers what kind of regulation to put in place, tech companies have a window. By throwing their support behind a law now, companies might be able to dodge much stronger, more restrictive legislation. Here are some of the factors at play:
- Federal privacy legislation — if it ever solidifies into an actual Bill — is bound to be shaped by the interest of those companies. Congress listens to tech execs, while consumer-level advocacy groups are locked out of the discussions, as Wired points out.
- If weak federal privacy laws are able to supersede stronger state laws like California’s Privacy Act, they could end up benefiting private tech companies, protecting them from more heavy-handed state laws in the future.
- It’s in the tech companies’ interest to streamline the process of adhering to privacy laws — it’s easier to comply with a single legal framework, rather than 50 different state laws.
A federal law that regulates tech companies may look like a win for the general public on the surface, but we shouldn’t underestimate the deviousness of the companies the laws are exactly intended to rein in. These companies likely see this as an opportunity to avoid having to abide by stronger privacy laws in the future.
The post In a Shift, Apple and Amazon Say They Are in Favor of Federal Privacy Regulation appeared first on Futurism.
Read the original post:
- The Mueller Report Confirms We’re Living in a Cyberpunk Dystopia - April 21st, 2019
- When the Large Hadron Collider Turns on, It May Trap Dark Matter - April 21st, 2019
- Astronomers Finally Found the Universe’s First Type of Molecule - April 21st, 2019
- India Blew up a Satellite. Now A “Space Fence” Is Tracking Its Debris - April 21st, 2019
- Expert: AI-Generated Music Is A “Total Legal Clusterf*ck” - April 21st, 2019
- This Space Roomba Could Clean the ISS While Astronauts Sleep - April 21st, 2019
- John McAfee Vows to Reveal Bitcoin’s Creator - April 21st, 2019
- Professor: Total Surveillance Is the Only Way to Save Humanity - April 21st, 2019
- Amazing New Rocket Engine Sucks up Atmospheric Oxygen for Fuel - April 21st, 2019
- Climate Change Could Cause Fukushima-Style Meltdowns in the US - April 21st, 2019
- Denver Is Voting on Whether to Decriminalize Psychedelic Mushrooms - April 21st, 2019
- Boston Dynamics Unveils SpotMini You’ll Actually Be Able to Buy - April 21st, 2019
- Puerto Rico Will Stop Burning Coal Next Year - April 21st, 2019
- Listen to Brutal Death Metal Made by a Neural Network - April 21st, 2019
- IBM Pulls the Plug on Drug-Discovering Watson AI - April 21st, 2019
- The Government Wants to Make an Example out of Mark Zuckerberg - April 21st, 2019
- China’s Military Built an Autonomous Amphibious Landing Vehicle - April 21st, 2019
- Scientists Create Material With “Artificial Metabolism” - April 21st, 2019
- Scientists Find Genetic Variants That Prevent Obesity, Diabetes - April 21st, 2019
- From Coffee to Popcorn, Celebrate 420 With These Futuristic CBD Edibles - April 21st, 2019
- Ripple Price Forecast: XRP vs SWIFT, SEC Updates, and More - April 12th, 2019
- Cryptocurrency News: Looking Past the Bithumb Crypto Hack - April 12th, 2019
- Cryptocurrency News: This Week on Bitfinex, Tether, Coinbase, & More - April 12th, 2019
- Cryptocurrency News: XRP Validators, Malta, and Practical Tokens - April 12th, 2019
- Cryptocurrency News: Bitcoin ETFs, Andreessen Horowitz, and Contradictions in Crypto - April 12th, 2019
- Cryptocurrency News: What You Need to Know This Week - April 12th, 2019
- Cryptocurrency News: Bitcoin ETF Rejection, AMD Microchip Sales, and Hedge Funds - April 12th, 2019
- Cryptocurrency News: New Exchanges Could Boost Crypto Liquidity - April 12th, 2019
- Bitcoin Rise: Is the Recent Bitcoin Price Surge a Sign of Things to Come or Another Misdirection? - April 12th, 2019
- Cryptocurrency News: Vitalik Buterin Doesn’t Care About Bitcoin ETFs - April 12th, 2019
- Astronomy - Wikipedia - April 11th, 2019
- Astronomy Picture of the Day - April 11th, 2019
- astronomy | Definition & Facts | Britannica.com - April 11th, 2019
- Astronomy | Definition of Astronomy by Merriam-Webster - April 11th, 2019
- Beaches Resorts - Family Friendly Caribbean All-Inclusives ... - April 10th, 2019
- Beaches (1988) - IMDb - April 10th, 2019
- Beaches (film) - Wikipedia - April 10th, 2019
- Top Nude Beaches : Beaches : Travel Channel | Travel Channel - April 10th, 2019
- Beaches (1988) - Rotten Tomatoes - April 10th, 2019
- Best Beaches in the United States - Travelers ... - TripAdvisor - April 10th, 2019
- Beaches Resorts - Official Site - April 9th, 2019
- Beaches (1988) - IMDb - April 9th, 2019
- Beaches (film) - Wikipedia - April 9th, 2019
- Top Nude Beaches : Beaches : Travel Channel | Travel Channel - April 9th, 2019
- Beaches | The Official Site of The Bahamas - April 9th, 2019
- closest beach? - Secaucus Forum - TripAdvisor - April 9th, 2019
- Nearest beach from Secaucus? - New Jersey Forum - April 9th, 2019
- Beaches (1988) - IMDb - March 22nd, 2019
- beaches.com - Caribbean All-Inclusives & Vacation Packages - March 22nd, 2019
- Beaches (film) - Wikipedia - March 22nd, 2019
- Beaches in New Jersey | VisitNJ.org - March 22nd, 2019
- Top Nude Beaches : Beaches : Travel Channel | Travel Channel - March 22nd, 2019
- Elon Musk: $47,000 Model Y SUV “Will Ride Like a Sports Car” - March 16th, 2019
- Just 19 Percent of Americans Trust Self-Driving Cars With Kids - March 16th, 2019
- Samsung Is Working on Phone With “Invisible” Camera Behind Screen - March 16th, 2019
- Special Announcement: Futurism Media and Singularity University - March 16th, 2019
- This Guy Spent a Whole Week In a VR Headset - March 16th, 2019
- How Can We Build Cities to Accommodate 6.5 Billion People? - March 16th, 2019
- Presidential Hopeful Beto O’Rourke Belonged to Infamous Hacker Group - March 16th, 2019
- Elon Musk: 2019 Will Be “the Year of the Solar Roof” - March 16th, 2019
- Here’s How Hackers Stole $15 Million From Mexican Banks - March 16th, 2019
- Slack Just Removed a Bunch of Hate Groups - March 16th, 2019
- This Tech Could Secure Medical Implants Against Hackers - March 16th, 2019
- States Are Approving Cannabis to Fight Opioid Addiction - March 16th, 2019
- New Robot Hand Works Like a Venus Flytrap to Grip Objects - March 16th, 2019
- New Rocket Engine Could Whip You From London to Sydney in 4 Hours - March 16th, 2019
- NASA: Space Travel Is Causing Astronauts’ Herpes to Flare Up - March 16th, 2019
- The Pentagon Wants an Orbital Space Weapon to Blast Enemy Missiles - March 16th, 2019
- Computer Fraud Laws are Flawed, this Lawyer is Fighting Against Them - March 16th, 2019
- NASA Engineer: Humans Should Consider Settling Saturn’s Moon Titan - March 16th, 2019
- Astronomers Just Found 83 Giant Black Holes at Universe’s Edge - March 16th, 2019
- Pilots Were Worried About Boeing 737 Max Before Deadly Crash - March 14th, 2019
- See the Robot Head That Might Interview You for Your Next Job - March 14th, 2019
- Ethicist Warns: Future AI Could Take Revenge for How We Treat It Now - March 14th, 2019
- Russian Scientists Used a Quantum Computer to Turn Back Time - March 14th, 2019
- Get Ready For More Interactive Netflix Programming - March 14th, 2019
- NASA Might Send Astronauts Around the Moon on Commercial Rocket - March 14th, 2019
- Why IBM Thinks Quantum Computers Will Boost Machine Learning - March 14th, 2019
- First Graphene-Based Device Is A “Few Months” Away, Says Startup - March 14th, 2019
- Experts Call for Temporary World Ban on Gene-Hacked Children - March 14th, 2019