BIGtoken Weekly Data Privacy Roundup

The cries for federal government action to enter the data privacy fray and develop solutions to the crisis keep getting louder. With the full force of our Democratic system at work, federal government intervention is not only critical, but is also good politics.

Senate Democrats call on FTC to fix data privacy ‘crisis,’” The Verge- September 20th, 2021

Has data privacy finally been elevated to a federal level? The answer is potentially as the Senate Democrats have called on FTC to fix the data privacy ‘crisis.’ Whether or not this development is the driving force for the enactment of a federal data privacy law, it is becoming clearer that a federal privacy law is just a matter of time. Similar to the GDPR in the EU, a federal data privacy law in the United States would be a monumental step in leveling the playing field in the evolving data privacy movement.

Voters Want to Curb the Influence of Big Tech Companies, New Poll Shows,” Wall Street Journal- September 23rd 2021

Not surprisingly, given the steady increase of data breaches and the unintended exposure of sensitive information, 80% of voters in the United States believe the government needs to “curb the influence of big tech companies that have grown too powerful.”  With bipartisan support at such high levels, the power of 80% of voters should exert the necessary influence to force the federal government into action.

Until governments embrace the importance of their roles in stemming the tide of data privacy issues, the private market must continue to work with a tremendous sense of urgency to formulate solutions.  With the latest disclosure of leaks of fitness information and smart cars, people will only become more incensed with the data privacy chaos.

World Reimagined: A Different Perspective on to Handle Threats to Data Privacy,” Nasdaq- September 22nd, 2021

For every security measure developed to protect a person’s personal information, the “bad actors” seem to be a step ahead in creating insidious ways to invade and use data to commit crimes and other harmful acts. Once data is transferred to a company, whether it is necessary for the transaction at hand, this information becomes more at risk to attack. Many believe it is time for companies to judiciously review what information they truly need from their consumers.  The less data required will reduce the risk of exposure to harmful groups.

 “Mass Leak of Fitness Tracking Data Hits Fitbit, Apple, Microsoft, Google; 60 million Records Exposed by Improperly Configured Third-Party Database,” CPO Magazine- September 21, 2021

In this constantly changing world, people are increasingly turning to fitness regimes to improve their health and reduce their stress levels. However, people did not contemplate the potential that such positive behaviors could be countered by the increased exposure of their personal data and the risks of its mis-use.  Unfortunately, fitness data must now be added to the growing list of personal information exposed without consent.  This trend of information must be countered with the full resources of companies, technologists, and governmental entities as soon as possible.

“Your Smart Car Is A Ticking Data Privacy Timebomb,” TechHQ- September 24, 2021

Are safety improvements in your car worth the risk of disclosing a vast amount of your personal data?  Based on the growth of smart cars, the answer appears yes.  However, the problem is that many people do not realize how much of their data is being collected and used.  Activists are making efforts to both warn car owners about potential data leaks as well as challenge automakers to be more transparent about how they are collecting and using data.