BIGtoken Weekly Data Privacy Roundup

In a novel and unprecedented approach to address privacy issues, New York declares a 2% tax on technology companies’ use of consumer data.  Further, sacred healthcare information is becoming more vulnerable as Big Tech gains more access to this data. The healthcare “data scare” and other privacy practices necessitates improved defenses including class-action lawsuits and critical government protections such as forcing Big Tech companies to be transparent about their data collection methods.

New York vs Big Tech: Lawmakers Float Data Tax in Privacy Push,” Government Technology- May 25th, 2021

Leave it to New York to formulate a response to a company’s use of consumer data by proposing a 2 percent tax through a proposed law named The Data Economy Labor Compensation and Accountability Act.  The revenue generated from this law would be put to good use including improving digital literacy, workforce redevelopment, and various educational programs. Perhaps New York is onto a potential solution to holding companies accountable for use of consumer data.

Privacy Laws Need Updating After Google Deal with HCA Healthcare, Medical Ethics Professor Says,” CNBC- May 26th, 2021

When it comes to a person’s healthcare information, data privacy is critical. Yet, with electronic medical records, enormous amounts of stored data, and the linking of many different healthcare systems, protecting a patient’s data is very difficult.  This concern was greatly amplified this week with the announcement that Google would have access to a patient’s medical records from the HCA healthcare hospital chain. While Google will not be able to see a patient’s name and claims this information will not be used for ads or sold to third parties, this development is an enormous concern for patients’ privacy rights.

Collective Data Rights Can Stop Big Tech From Obliterating Privacy,” MIT Technology Review- May 25th, 2021

Currently, data entered by a user on an app is a primary concern in this data privacy world. Unfortunately, data privacy will continue to be eroded with technological advances. For example, with artificial intelligence, companies can use sensors on mobile devices to determine the physical activities of a user – are they seated or standing, running or walking, and where specifically they are located, among many other things. The demand for control from the government continues to accelerate hopefully at a pace that begins to match the continued technological advancements impacting privacy rights.

AdTech’s shift to collecting first-party data as a result of the elimination of third-party cookies and opt-out options is a positive development for data privacy rights. Fortunately, social media apps are not listening to your conversations, but certainly have access to information to continue to paint a more detailed picture of an individual’s likes and needs to be used by advertisers.

Tectonic Shifts in AdTech Spotlight The Importance of First-Party Consumer Data,” Forbes- May 24, 2021

In the evolving world of data privacy, the current state of the advertising technology ecosystem, also know as AdTech, continues to change dramatically.  Consumer privacy, opt-out options, elimination of third-party cookies, consent to be tracked, among other things, are driving these changes. While many advertisers and marketers are searching for solutions, first-party data derived directly from a company’s customers will be the cornerstone for all marketing/advertising programs going forward. Hopefully, this development starts to reduce broad dissemination of information and receiving unwanted advertisements.

“’Your Social Media Apps are Not Listening to You’: Tech Worker Explains Data Privacy in Viral Twitter Thread,” Newsweek- May 26th, 2021

Following a visit to see his mother, a tech worker was targeted for an advertisement for his mother’s toothpaste brand despite not searching or talking about the brand. His analysis of how this occurred is quite disturbing.  Apps, social media outlets, browsers, and cellular devices collect an enormous amount of data which aggregators can use to formulate the buying habits of people and their family members. This trend for privacy intrusiveness continues to grow and hopefully will start being controlled with the various privacy laws contemplated by governments and the efforts of advocacy groups.