Two positive steps at the political level occurred this week with the enactment of a new data privacy law in Virginia and the announcement of U.S. senators’ inquiries of Facebook’s data privacy practices with a focus on political advertising.
“Senators Want Facebook To Provide More Info About Data Privacy and Political Ads Policies,” Forbes- August 9th, 2021
Often the object of congressional scrutiny, Facebook is being called-on to provide information about how it handles data privacy. Also, in a perplexing action, Facebook disbanded a team focused on studying and formulating ideas of how to stop political misinformation. This decision suggests that Facebook will allow people to post anything no matter how dangerous. Fortunately, U.S. senators are swiftly taking action and demanding more information about Facebook’s data privacy practices.
“Virginia’s New Consumer Data Protection Act,” The National Law Review- August 10th, 2021
Virginia is the most recent state to adopt a new data privacy law, the Consumer Data Protection Act (CDPA), inspired by the GDPR. Similar to the European privacy law, citizens of Virginia will have access to information collected by a company and enjoy opt-out rights to certain targeted advertising practices.
Privacy advocates are becoming more vocal, clamoring for the need to protect personal data as companies such as TikTok and popular dating apps are more vulnerable to attackers’ attempts to steal very sensitive private information.
“With liberty and privacy for some: Widening inequality on the digital frontier,” TechCrunch- August 10th, 2021
Simply put, people, other than those living in California, remain exposed to targeted advertising with limited opt-out rights. To establish necessary protections, privacy advocates continue to push for federal government rules and the incumbency for companies to develop a true ability for users to control their personal information.
“TikTok to add more privacy protections for teenaged users, limit push notifications,” TechCrunch- August 12th, 2021
Certainly a step forward, TikTok announced more privacy protections for teenagers including limiting push notifications. If truly sincere and implemented correctly, TikTok should be commended. With a high degree of skepticism, data privacy watchdogs will keenly watch the results.
“It’s A Match – Is Online Dating and Data Privacy Compatible Together?” TechHQ- August 11th, 2021
Though very convenient and sometimes a successful means to meet people, online daters must be careful with the information they provide on dating apps. Staggeringly, 1 in 6 users have had their personal data exposed while dating online. This is due in large part to stalkers and doxing, a form of hacking which releases private information. With more people dating online, apps must take steps to protect users’ data privacy.