In this case, we have an emergency process. There are good reasons to have that process, if someone is threatening violence to themselves on social media, it’s useful for the tech company to share some information with law enforcement so they can be reached. But, having the ability to get that kind of response from tech companies is also an invitation to hackers. If they can create a fake emergency request they can collect personal information about any user. They can then use that information to target that individual.
When you create that kind of system, the request needs to be coming from a safe, verified, source. When the source is compromised, and the receiver doesn’t have an excellent validation process, bad things are going to happen.
Because when you have that kind of data, people will try and do bad things with it.
This is the crux of the problem. Personal information is going to be breached, eventually. There is no 100% secure data. None. No business, government entity, non-profit, or any other place that collects and stores data is completely secure. The only true security for personal information is to not have it. To have not collected it or delete it once it’s no longer needed.
That is the radical re-think that is necessary. It’s also the complete opposite of everything these organizations have been taught and incentivized to do. If we are going to pass federal privacy laws, this should be the central theme.
I reject that argument too, and here is why.
In order to be a customer of Netflix, Disney+, etc. you need broadband internet access, which runs through those wireline facilities. The ISP is already paying for using the right of way and passing that expense on to you. Any service, streaming video, audio, websites you visit, etc. is using the connection that has already been paid for and passed on to you. Taxing each individual service simply creates a situation where there is one connection using the infrastructure, being paid for over and over again and then being passed back to you over and over again.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot over the last couple of years. We tend to think of the “Big Tech” apps and social networks as being the problem in the digital world, but really it’s all these little places too, because, as they describe, they don’t just keep us informed of actual events in our neighborhoods, they keep us informed of every single instance of something that someone finds suspicious.
This, in turn, makes us go from living in a relatively calm neighborhood to believing we are just one or two days away from the Purge.