American Data Dissemination Act seeks to legislate how the tech industry uses your data

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 17
Senator Marco Rubio has announced the American Data Dissemination Act, a data privacy bill that aims to shore up existing privacy laws and establish a minimum standard for tech giants like Amazon, Apple, Google and Facebook to obey.

Capitol Hill building


Under the proposal, the FTC would be ordered to examine and suggest what privacy rules should be put in place for major commercial services, including technology companies. The proposal is based on principles from a 1974 law that created rules for federal agencies.

As part of its new scheme, Axios reports the FTC would also be required to find ways to exempt smaller companies from being impacted from the rules.

Importantly, if Congress fails to successfully pass a law within two years of the bill being brought into effect, it would grant the FTC the authority to produce new rules along the lines of its own recommendations. Under current laws, the FTC is capable of enforcing rules, usually by taking parties to court or penalizing organizations, but cannot produce the rules itself.

The rules created under the bill would also preempt privacy rules at a state level, meaning that tougher state laws may be superseded by weaker national versions in some instances. According to an aide of Rubio, this was added to fulfill a request from industry groups who wish to avoid a "patchwork" of rules that vary from state to state.

One of the industry groups is the Information Technology Industry Council, which counts Apple alongside Amazon, Facebook, Google, Intel, and Microsoft among its members.

"It is crucial that we do not create a regulatory environment that entrenches big tech corporations," states Rubio. "Congress must act, but it is even more important that Congress act responsibly to create a transparent, digital environment that maximizes consumer welfare over corporate welfare."

The bill is launching without any co-sponsors.

Rubio's bill is only one of a number of attempts by senators to try and improve data privacy legislation. In November, it was revealed a pair of senators were working on a bipartisan bill that could be drafted by early 2019, which would mandate the protection of consumer data.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 16
    lennlenn Posts: 36member
    You'd have to be crazy to use Fakebook, I mean Facebook now.
    cornchipwilliamlondon
  • Reply 2 of 16
    chasmchasm Posts: 1,417member
    Sounds good on the surface, but the devil is in the details -- and there's already hints that "weaker federal protections" would make it into the final bill. I think I'll wait to see if one of the more competent Senators has a better approach in their bill (and yes, I'm one of Rubio's constituents).
    cornchip
  • Reply 3 of 16
    The act's title itself leaves me worried. I want a Data Protection and Privacy Act, not a Data Dissemination Act. The idea is to stop disseminating the damn data.
    robbyxwilliamlondon
  • Reply 4 of 16
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,032moderator
    I think Google is stalking me....

    Later this month I’m moving from the Philippines to Vietnam.  This morning in a FB group I looked at an apartment listing.  I exited FB and launched the Google Maps app to look up the area it’s in.

    Google Maps already had the address as a search suggestion.  

    So I select it and up comes the map.  Which I then notice has my Airbnb listing dates shown over next to the Landmark building where I’ll be staying my first two weeks in Ho Chi Minh.  

    It’s nice to have all that info presented, except I don’t ever recall opting in to allowing Google to scrape data from my FB or Airbnb interactions.  Opt-out is simply the wrong way to go in my opinion as users don’t know what’s being scraped until something like this alerts us that our privacy has already been potentially  compromised.


    edited January 17 williamlondon
  • Reply 5 of 16
    So under this bill "major commercial services" like Facebook would have restrictions on what they can do with others' data, but smaller companies would be excluded? I see several problems with this idea. E.g., Who defines "major"? What if the company isn't based in the US? Can major companies do business with smaller companies which aren't restricted by the rules?

    What about a level playing field instead?
  • Reply 6 of 16
    To include Apple in this list — as the story does — is stupid. 

    How will this negatively affect the company!? In fact, I’ll bet Cook ad Co. are saying, “bring it on!”
    chasm
  • Reply 7 of 16
    chasmchasm Posts: 1,417member
    Radar: FB will sell user data to absolutely anyone, as I think has been shown at least a dozen times by now. You gave FB permission to do this, and then compounded the issue by using Google services. It is definitely not easy, but if you want some scrap of your privacy back, you need to stop using those two companies so much.
    radarthekat
  • Reply 8 of 16
    I think Google is stalking me....

    Never underestimate Google, It'll always find a way.

    I've watched stuff on YouTube on my PC and when I went to YouTube on my Apple TV, the recommendations are based on what I saw on my PC. The kicker? I didn't log into YouTube! I never log into YouTube.

    That's the reason why I'm relieved that Apple Maps now provides directions in India. I can slowly move away from Google Maps.

    williamlondonradarthekat
  • Reply 9 of 16
    xbitxbit Posts: 234member
    Implementing the tougher EU equivalent (GDPR) was a pain in the ass but I'm glad it exists. Abusers face fines of up to 4% of global revenue to it has the same impact on large and small companies.
  • Reply 10 of 16
    blah64blah64 Posts: 922member
    I think Google is stalking me....

    Never underestimate Google, It'll always find a way.

    I've watched stuff on YouTube on my PC and when I went to YouTube on my Apple TV, the recommendations are based on what I saw on my PC. The kicker? I didn't log into YouTube! I never log into YouTube.

    You do realize that unless you're using a VPN (and change endpoints once in a while) that everything you do at your home, across ALL devices, is trivially identifiable to the content providers, advertisers, analytics firms, marketers and anyone else along the way because it's all coming from the same IP address, right?

    After cookies, this is probably the most easily exploited tracking method of all.  Anything and everything you do from your home is traceable to you unless you take concrete steps to prevent it.  Yes, it's a messed up world we live in, but consider this a learning experience and consider how you might mitigate this problem if it matters to you (and it should).

    That's the reason why I'm relieved that Apple Maps now provides directions in India. I can slowly move away from Google Maps.

    Why would you do this "slowly"?  Make it as quickly as possible, just do it!
    edited January 19
  • Reply 11 of 16
    I think Google is stalking me....

    Later this month I’m moving from the Philippines to Vietnam.  This morning in a FB group I looked at an apartment listing.  I exited FB and launched the Google Maps app to look up the area it’s in.

    Google Maps already had the address as a search suggestion.  

    So I select it and up comes the map.  Which I then notice has my Airbnb listing dates shown over next to the Landmark building where I’ll be staying my first two weeks in Ho Chi Minh.  

    It’s nice to have all that info presented, except I don’t ever recall opting in to allowing Google to scrape data from my FB or Airbnb interactions.  Opt-out is simply the wrong way to go in my opinion as users don’t know what’s being scraped until something like this alerts us that our privacy has already been potentially  compromised.


    Good luck in Vietnam, man. I worked with a guy who went there for a business trip and he came back covered with mosquito bites.
  • Reply 12 of 16
    blah64blah64 Posts: 922member
    I think Google is stalking me....

    Later this month I’m moving from the Philippines to Vietnam.  This morning in a FB group I looked at an apartment listing.  I exited FB and launched the Google Maps app to look up the area it’s in.

    Google Maps already had the address as a search suggestion.  

    So I select it and up comes the map.  Which I then notice has my Airbnb listing dates shown over next to the Landmark building where I’ll be staying my first two weeks in Ho Chi Minh.  

    It’s nice to have all that info presented, except I don’t ever recall opting in to allowing Google to scrape data from my FB or Airbnb interactions.  Opt-out is simply the wrong way to go in my opinion as users don’t know what’s being scraped until something like this alerts us that our privacy has already been potentially  compromised.

    This is not necessarily surprising.  What is the commonality?  Airbnb.  Note that Airbnb has all kinds of google stuff embedded in their site, so google clearly knows what you're doing when you're on that site.  There are certainly other possibilities, i.e. fb and fb messenger is obviously analyzing all your conversations as well, though it would be a little surprising if they're spilling that info (directly) to google.  But maybe to Airbnb, then to google?  Hard to know for sure with the opaque systems that these companies are using!

    It's great that you're concerned about this, but until people start protesting with their wallets and usage patterns, none of these datamining and behavioral profiling companies are going to stop doing what they're doing. 

    The average person kinda sorta knows something is going on behind the scenes, and we often read about people describing it as "creepy", but most people don't have any kind of deep understanding as to the full depth of this industry, nor are they going to be able to follow through and #deletefacebook or stop using sites that have google tools and facebook monitoring running all through the bowels. 

    This is precisely why Tim Cook has been saying that we need legislation to regain any control of our personal data.  I generally prefer free market solutions, but there are a lot of situations where that doesn't work, and this is clearly one of them.
    edited January 20
  • Reply 13 of 16
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,451member
    blah64 said:
    I think Google is stalking me....

    Later this month I’m moving from the Philippines to Vietnam.  This morning in a FB group I looked at an apartment listing.  I exited FB and launched the Google Maps app to look up the area it’s in.

    Google Maps already had the address as a search suggestion.  

    So I select it and up comes the map.  Which I then notice has my Airbnb listing dates shown over next to the Landmark building where I’ll be staying my first two weeks in Ho Chi Minh.  

    It’s nice to have all that info presented, except I don’t ever recall opting in to allowing Google to scrape data from my FB or Airbnb interactions.  Opt-out is simply the wrong way to go in my opinion as users don’t know what’s being scraped until something like this alerts us that our privacy has already been potentially  compromised.

    This is not necessarily surprising.  What is the commonality?  Airbnb.  Note that Airbnb has all kinds of google stuff embedded in their site, so google clearly knows what you're doing when you're on that site.  There are certainly other possibilities, i.e. fb and fb messenger is obviously analyzing all your conversations as well, though it would be a little surprising if they're spilling that info (directly) to google.  But maybe to Airbnb, then to google?  Hard to know for sure with the opaque systems that these companies are using!

    It's great that you're concerned about this, but until people start protesting with their wallets and usage patterns, none of these datamining and behavioral profiling companies are going to stop doing what they're doing. 
    @blah64 we don't have an option to "vote with our wallets" AFAICT. What monetary impact can you or even a million you's make on Oracle or Springbord, Experian, Transunion, BlueKai, Acxiom, or Exactis, or a thousand others like them? What usage pattern should we change? What usage pattern COULD we change?

    That's where legislation is required because you a a citizen can't do anything at all about their data collection or their selling of every little detail of your social, family, medical, and financial life. Everything from where you've lived and worked and earned, to the names, ages and addresses of every close family members, and specific details about your children. Every magazine you've subscribed to, whether you attend church, your sexual persuasion, legal history, every ticket and fine, even down to the detailed layout of your home.  Every medication you've taken, every doctor you've seen, every car you've owned, every accident you've had, and everything you've purchased with each of your credit cards.

    Sure you can stop using Google and/or Facebook if it makes you feel like you did something. Heck at least they give you something of value in return, and at least in Google's case they ain't selling whatever they know about "you" to dozens of who knows whos who share it with who knows who. What did Experian do for you today?
    What can YOU personally do to hit them or their data-trading brethren "in the wallet"?  Nothing. At. All.

    So then to fix it all we have to do is pass a law right? Easy-peesy...
    Except there is zero chance anything truly impactful will pass IMO.
    You think the wall-streeters and bankers and retail trade organizations and marketers of profit-making products are really going to allow one of their biggest assets to be legislated away by Senators and Congressmen who care as much about fresh campaign funds as they do about Blah64? Not a chance in Hades unless we the little people scream loud enough to be heard over the "important people with important stuff to say" but...

    We just don't care enough to be bothered.
     There's shiny things to buy and good stuff to eat, and pretty places to go. there's no time for things that require thought and consideration. Too much effort to educate ourselves about it all so we'll just depend on the daily media regurgitating the latest PR opportunity from this company telling us we should be worrying about that company, statements driven as much by seizing a market advantage as saving us from ourselves IMO.

    But of course they can entertain us, bring out the dogs and ponies and important people saying important things and then life for the data aggregators will go on and we'll forget they exist again until the next big breech of your life's story that will out of the news within a day or two of happening anyway. We'll all just be redirected to stare at Facebook and Google and say "oh look i did something today and my privacy is now safe 'cause I use Apple stuff". Good luck with that.

    In the meantime you, your friends, your neighbors and your communities presents and futures are being determined in part by what those data aggregators can borrow, buy, share, connect, collate, package and sell to governments, banks, investment houses, colleges, employers, landlords, credit card companies, et al.

    That legislation is the only way to get some control of it all for you as an individual is obvious, at least to me. Free market forces are what has gotten us to where we are now so don't look for any help from "the market". As the profit-opportunities shift the data aggregators will too. Follow the money.  They aren't going away if there's profit to be made.

     But make yourself feel good at least. Stop using Google Maps. Today. Your privacy will then be safe.
    edited January 20
  • Reply 14 of 16
    blah64blah64 Posts: 922member
    gatorguy said:
    blah64 said:
    I think Google is stalking me....

    Later this month I’m moving from the Philippines to Vietnam.  This morning in a FB group I looked at an apartment listing.  I exited FB and launched the Google Maps app to look up the area it’s in.

    Google Maps already had the address as a search suggestion.  

    So I select it and up comes the map.  Which I then notice has my Airbnb listing dates shown over next to the Landmark building where I’ll be staying my first two weeks in Ho Chi Minh.  

    It’s nice to have all that info presented, except I don’t ever recall opting in to allowing Google to scrape data from my FB or Airbnb interactions.  Opt-out is simply the wrong way to go in my opinion as users don’t know what’s being scraped until something like this alerts us that our privacy has already been potentially  compromised.

    This is not necessarily surprising.  What is the commonality?  Airbnb.  Note that Airbnb has all kinds of google stuff embedded in their site, so google clearly knows what you're doing when you're on that site.  There are certainly other possibilities, i.e. fb and fb messenger is obviously analyzing all your conversations as well, though it would be a little surprising if they're spilling that info (directly) to google.  But maybe to Airbnb, then to google?  Hard to know for sure with the opaque systems that these companies are using!

    It's great that you're concerned about this, but until people start protesting with their wallets and usage patterns, none of these datamining and behavioral profiling companies are going to stop doing what they're doing. 
    @blah64 we don't have an option to "vote with our wallets" AFAICT. What monetary impact can you or even a million you's make on Oracle or Springbord, Experian, Transunion, BlueKai, Acxiom, or Exactis, or a thousand others like them? What usage pattern should we change? What usage pattern COULD we change?

    That's where legislation is required because you a a citizen can't do anything at all about their data collection or their selling of every little detail of your social, family, medical, and financial life. Everything from where you've lived and worked and earned, to the names, ages and addresses of every close family members, and specific details about your children. Every magazine you've subscribed to, whether you attend church, your sexual persuasion, legal history, every ticket and fine, even down to the detailed layout of your home.  Every medication you've taken, every doctor you've seen, every car you've owned, every accident you've had, and everything you've purchased with each of your credit cards.

    Sure you can stop using Google and/or Facebook if it makes you feel like you did something. Heck at least they give you something of value in return, and at least in Google's case they ain't selling whatever they know about "you" to dozens of who knows whos who share it with who knows who. What did Experian do for you today?
    What can YOU personally do to hit them or their data-trading brethren "in the wallet"?  Nothing. At. All.

    So then to fix it all we have to do is pass a law right? Easy-peesy...
    Except there is zero chance anything truly impactful will pass IMO.
    You think the wall-streeters and bankers and retail trade organizations and marketers of profit-making products are really going to allow one of their biggest assets to be legislated away by Senators and Congressmen who care as much about fresh campaign funds as they do about Blah64? Not a chance in Hades unless we the little people scream loud enough to be heard over the "important people with important stuff to say" but...

    We just don't care enough to be bothered.
     There's shiny things to buy and good stuff to eat, and pretty places to go. there's no time for things that require thought and consideration. Too much effort to educate ourselves about it all so we'll just depend on the daily media regurgitating the latest PR opportunity from this company telling us we should be worrying about that company, statements driven as much by seizing a market advantage as saving us from ourselves IMO.

    But of course they can entertain us, bring out the dogs and ponies and important people saying important things and then life for the data aggregators will go on and we'll forget they exist again until the next big breech of your life's story that will out of the news within a day or two of happening anyway. We'll all just be redirected to stare at Facebook and Google and say "oh look i did something today and my privacy is now safe 'cause I use Apple stuff". Good luck with that.

    In the meantime you, your friends, your neighbors and your communities presents and futures are being determined in part by what those data aggregators can borrow, buy, share, connect, collate, package and sell to governments, banks, investment houses, colleges, employers, landlords, credit card companies, et al.

    That legislation is the only way to get some control of it all for you as an individual is obvious, at least to me. Free market forces are what has gotten us to where we are now so don't look for any help from "the market". As the profit-opportunities shift the data aggregators will too. Follow the money.  They aren't going away if there's profit to be made.

     But make yourself feel good at least. Stop using Google Maps. Today. Your privacy will then be safe.
    Like always, you’ve taken your favorite whataboutism posture here, but i actually agree with much of what you’ve written.  Except once again, many of the data points you’ve listed are not applicable for me, personally, even if they are for most people.

    Yes, the wallet-closing strategy only works with certain types of companies.  But it’s still a worthwhile exercise because everything helps, and the fact that people don’t understand how deeply ALL of these companies are monitoring people’s personalities and behaviors is frightening.  I believe that there’s a better chance of people understanding the companies that are in-their-faces like fb/goog first, but that’s clearly just one part of the education and reform process.

    The more shadowy parts of the data broker industry absolutely need to be changed as well, and the only way to make that happen is through legislation.  No doubt at all.  But meaningful legislation won’t happen until enough people care, and enough people won’t care until they understand.  Sadly, most people won’t care until they’re directly harmed, but even that isn’t always obvious unless you understand the system.  Even a smart, tech-savvy guy like radarthekat was apparently surprised to see how his own personal actions were tracked between seemingly unrelated companies.  Interactions like these need to be made examples of, and publicized for as many people to see as possible.

    I find it interesting, though not surprising, that acxiom is trying to get out in front of this and claim that they’re not evil at all, and that they want to be part of the new changes, blah blah blah.  They, and their money (along with the fb/googs of the world) will be pouring their influence all over any proposed legislation in order to water it down to be as meaningless as possible.  On that we agree as well.

    In the meantime, what are you doing to try to help the situation?  Other than jumping all over anyone who wants to remind people that their daily actions are being mined by lots of companies, including fb/goog/amzn, and many others that are operating kinda sorta in the daylight?  But not really in complete daylight.  Continually pointing out how they’re actually the “good guys” is not only counter-productive, but misleading.  The reason I’ll continue harping on them is precisely because of the topic here; they are the companies that can actually be affected by people’s wallets, and that’s a small wedge into average people understanding, caring, and eventually driving meaningful changes across the board.



  • Reply 15 of 16
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,451member
    blah64 said:
    gatorguy said:
    blah64 said:
    I think Google is stalking me....

    Later this month I’m moving from the Philippines to Vietnam.  This morning in a FB group I looked at an apartment listing.  I exited FB and launched the Google Maps app to look up the area it’s in.

    Google Maps already had the address as a search suggestion.  

    So I select it and up comes the map.  Which I then notice has my Airbnb listing dates shown over next to the Landmark building where I’ll be staying my first two weeks in Ho Chi Minh.  

    It’s nice to have all that info presented, except I don’t ever recall opting in to allowing Google to scrape data from my FB or Airbnb interactions.  Opt-out is simply the wrong way to go in my opinion as users don’t know what’s being scraped until something like this alerts us that our privacy has already been potentially  compromised.

    This is not necessarily surprising.  What is the commonality?  Airbnb.  Note that Airbnb has all kinds of google stuff embedded in their site, so google clearly knows what you're doing when you're on that site.  There are certainly other possibilities, i.e. fb and fb messenger is obviously analyzing all your conversations as well, though it would be a little surprising if they're spilling that info (directly) to google.  But maybe to Airbnb, then to google?  Hard to know for sure with the opaque systems that these companies are using!

    It's great that you're concerned about this, but until people start protesting with their wallets and usage patterns, none of these datamining and behavioral profiling companies are going to stop doing what they're doing. 
    @blah64 we don't have an option to "vote with our wallets" AFAICT. What monetary impact can you or even a million you's make on Oracle or Springbord, Experian, Transunion, BlueKai, Acxiom, or Exactis, or a thousand others like them? What usage pattern should we change? What usage pattern COULD we change?

    That's where legislation is required because you a a citizen can't do anything at all about their data collection or their selling of every little detail of your social, family, medical, and financial life. Everything from where you've lived and worked and earned, to the names, ages and addresses of every close family members, and specific details about your children. Every magazine you've subscribed to, whether you attend church, your sexual persuasion, legal history, every ticket and fine, even down to the detailed layout of your home.  Every medication you've taken, every doctor you've seen, every car you've owned, every accident you've had, and everything you've purchased with each of your credit cards.

    Sure you can stop using Google and/or Facebook if it makes you feel like you did something. Heck at least they give you something of value in return, and at least in Google's case they ain't selling whatever they know about "you" to dozens of who knows whos who share it with who knows who. What did Experian do for you today?
    What can YOU personally do to hit them or their data-trading brethren "in the wallet"?  Nothing. At. All.

    So then to fix it all we have to do is pass a law right? Easy-peesy...
    Except there is zero chance anything truly impactful will pass IMO.
    You think the wall-streeters and bankers and retail trade organizations and marketers of profit-making products are really going to allow one of their biggest assets to be legislated away by Senators and Congressmen who care as much about fresh campaign funds as they do about Blah64? Not a chance in Hades unless we the little people scream loud enough to be heard over the "important people with important stuff to say" but...

    We just don't care enough to be bothered.
     There's shiny things to buy and good stuff to eat, and pretty places to go. there's no time for things that require thought and consideration. Too much effort to educate ourselves about it all so we'll just depend on the daily media regurgitating the latest PR opportunity from this company telling us we should be worrying about that company, statements driven as much by seizing a market advantage as saving us from ourselves IMO.

    But of course they can entertain us, bring out the dogs and ponies and important people saying important things and then life for the data aggregators will go on and we'll forget they exist again until the next big breech of your life's story that will out of the news within a day or two of happening anyway. We'll all just be redirected to stare at Facebook and Google and say "oh look i did something today and my privacy is now safe 'cause I use Apple stuff". Good luck with that.

    In the meantime you, your friends, your neighbors and your communities presents and futures are being determined in part by what those data aggregators can borrow, buy, share, connect, collate, package and sell to governments, banks, investment houses, colleges, employers, landlords, credit card companies, et al.

    That legislation is the only way to get some control of it all for you as an individual is obvious, at least to me. Free market forces are what has gotten us to where we are now so don't look for any help from "the market". As the profit-opportunities shift the data aggregators will too. Follow the money.  They aren't going away if there's profit to be made.

     But make yourself feel good at least. Stop using Google Maps. Today. Your privacy will then be safe.
    Like always, you’ve taken your favorite whataboutism posture here,...
      Except once again, many of the data points you’ve listed are not applicable for me, personally...

    In the meantime, what are you doing to try to help the situation?  



    @blah64 ;

    First
    off it's not "whataboutism" when the the topic involved data brokers, oh and might affect Google and Facebook and Apple too, something you didn't address at all instead going straight for you-know-who. 

    Secondly pretending that the data-brokerage industry doesn't affect you at all  goes completely against your claims of knowing all about the privacy issues connected to them. You really believe that? 

    Third, what am I doing about it?
    At various times and in several posts I've linked to Google account settings and explanations of those controls, the pages to visit to find find, modify or completely opt out of Google. I don't recall you ever trying to be that helpful.
    I've posted reports of privacy breaches and what the potential impact is on our readers, along with where to read more about it. Don't recall you ever mentioning those events that often escape reporting in the regular media (why aren't they reported better? I don't know). Do you do the same?
    I've pointed to the security settings users should be aware of on the devices we use, including even Apple ones. Example: Many buyers of Apple products don't appear to know that some of the advertising/data collection settings are factory set to "On".  Again I don't believe you've ever taken the time to explain any of that yourself, where to look and why you might want to. 

    And Fourth:
    I've tried to make users aware that even cutting Google and Facebook out of your life completely and only using Apple products has very little real world effect on their privacy, even tho every time you notice a post of mine to that effect you downplay it, proclaiming that with just a little work we can all seize back our data, control our own story, if only we would stop using Google and the evil empire....

    Yet despite your claims of being unaffected because you rid your life of Facebook and such I guarantee that that there's credit and insurance and medical files stuffed with your financial life and health events available for sharing. 

    Our characters are rated and credit may be denied, a home/apartment may not be available, a job might not be offered, all based on what a data broker has provided.
    The schools we've attended, the grades we received, our driving records and history of insurance claims are all available too. Precise layout of our homes including the size and placement of every bedroom and bath is almost certainly there for the right price, as is every job held, the pay received, perhaps the reasons we left and maybe even images of the application we filled out. 

    There's records of what artwork we have, the valuable jewelry we own, what securities we've purchased, every property and asset we own, where, for how long and what we paid for them. 

    Do you have children or a significant other? There's data on them too in your files, even other files separate from yours yet still connected: names and ages and where they attend school. Clubs they belong to and sports they take part in. Shot records, physician's they've seen, and prescriptions they've been given. Blood types and birthmarks and hair/eye color. . . 

    Yup the CoreLogic's, and Experian's, and Transunion's in the business world buy and sell data. Including yours. Even if you think they can't. 

    They don't use you for mundane ad placement for some third party who could be an upstanding company like Apple. No, the data-brokers exist solely to collect, collate, investigate, translate, and market YOUR personal information and help other companies understand how to better use what they got from them. It could be for marketing. Maybe for government research. Maybe for tax queries, a civil lawsuit, criminal investigation, or evidence of insurance fraud. Perhaps for an offer of credit or health/life/auto insurance, or employment offer or as a service provider. Maybe to reach out to you for a donation. 

    Pretending that you've found how to successfully stay off the radar and so what they do has no affect on you, we must only worry most about Google and Facebook and we'll all be fine, doesn't do readers any favor. It's not true for one and obviously anyone who has actively worked to remain as private and off the grid as humanly possible as you presumably have would never posted on Facebook or opted in to some Google or Microsoft service to begin with, nor IMO probably AppleInsider for that matter. Probably wouldn't have an Apple account either because you can never be sure. 

    So yes Blah it's perfectly proper to point out the a tech like Google who depends on better understanding their audience as a competitive advantage for the companies hiring them as part of their product promotion programs. The more they know the higher the rates they can command. Basic business stuff, and companies protect their best profit-making assets. What they know about you is Google's biggest. Granted the potential of a future problem should not be ignored, and honestly that pertains to any company holding things that belong to you, with Google being one of the biggest and most public of course and therefore drawing the most attention.  Still, Google ain't giving it willingly to anyone else (there better be a subpoena attached, a VALID one), or preventing you from getting that job you wanted based on some faulty data point, or that home you promised your family but can't deliver on because of an inaccurate picture of your finances. That's the shadow-world of data brokers responsibility and not a fixture in Google's playground.

    You seem to have little drive to mention all of this yourself so consider me an ally then in your privacy fight, filling in the blanks you didn't have time to mention after properly pointing out how potentially dangerous it could be when any company, Google included, is tasked with protecting so much information. That's not what you want us all to think is it, especially since it's not even close to accurate?

    Yes, absolutely be part of the billion eyes watching every move by Google simply because they protect a great deal of personal data useful to both you and your daily planning AND their profit-making advertising service. Not because it's available for sale, or that they've been a poor gatekeeper, or that any misstep by them might escape notice, but because it exists. In that vein they are similar in some ways to a bank, tasked with safeguarding your data (money) and offering personal services (free checking and bill pay) in return for anonymously monetizing what is yours for their actual commercial money-making ventures.

    But do yourself and everyone around you a bigger service and cast your gaze on these other guys like Epsilon and Oracle  a lot more often and longer because far fewer are watching them, and they are actually the far more dangerous IMHO, generally unseen and unmonitored and with lots of incentive to parcel it out rather than keep it to themselves. Worse, when data brokers misstep it's often unnoticed and unpenalized. There's no outcry in the forum, no member handwringing's, and IF something does get mentioned it's soon forgotten anyway and all eyes are back on some tech competitor.

    Everyone who professes to be deeply concerned about their privacy and personal information should read these two very recent articles. Even you Blah. It's an excellent introduction to data brokers, where they get it from, where it goes, and why you should care. Worse, if only it were generally accurate there might be less to complain about. If you dun the deed...
    But sadly it is NOT accurate much of the time yet decisions are made behind the scenes and on your behalf that can have a severe impact on your personal life. It's not restricted to a targeted Google-placed ad you'd rather not see:

    https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/bjpx3w/what-are-data-brokers-and-how-to-stop-my-private-data-collection
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/kalevleetaru/2018/04/05/the-data-brokers-so-powerful-even-facebook-bought-their-data-but-they-got-me-wildly-wrong/#160392bf3107
    edited January 21
  • Reply 16 of 16
    blah64blah64 Posts: 922member
    First, your entire comment here is the definition of whataboutism.

    No one was talking about the data broker industry until you brought it up.  Few people reading the article other than you and me would have even been thinking about that industry, since the only companies that were mentioned were “Amazon, Apple, Google, Facebook”.

    Radar’s comment was about Google, Facebook and Airbnb.  Again, nowhere is there any discussion about the shadowy data broker industry, but about companies that he is interacting with directly.  So yes, my non-whataboutism response was to take note of what those companies do.

    Your entire nearly 1400 word tome could be summarized as: sure, they do that, but what about this other even worse industry!  The industry that wasn’t part of the discussion at all until you brought it up.  That’s Whataboutism 101.

    Second, you keep trying to say that I don’t understand where my personal data goes, but I know very, very well.  Way better than you do.  I’ve never said that data brokers have zero information about me, but my profile is miniscule compared with yours, and of course the masses at large.  I’m not going to get into the details of how I accomplish this, but I will say that it’s not always convenient, sometimes depends on the goodwill of others, and takes knowledge, care and diligence beyond most people’s capabilities.  I do not live completely off-grid, so there are a few data points that are impossible to block (i.e. health insurance), but you’d be surprised at what’s possible with effort, diligence, technical know-how, sacrificing "discounts", and the willingness to lie for a good cause.

    Third, I’m so glad that you think comments on this blog amount to “doing something”.  You really gave me a big LOL, so thanks for that.  You might notice that I don’t post comments here very often, because I quite literally have more important things to do.  First and foremost is family.  But right after that comes working on things that actually have the potential to affect people’s behavior.  If you’d actually read my post carefully you’d have gotten a hint of that.  Honing messages for, and delivering lecture material.  Cultivating relationships with elected officials and members of large organizations that have more power than the average individual.  I’ve directly influenced policy changes from local all the way to national organizations.  And it’s even more challenging for me, because much (maybe even most) of it is either fully anonymous or pseudonymous.  How about you?  Anything other than constantly posting here on AI in defense of Google?

    FWIW, I did read both articles, and while they were good (and I’ll keep the links in my list of articles that I pass along to others), there was nothing new at all to me.  I’ve never disagreed with you that the pure data broker industry is worse in many ways than the companies that also provide end-user benefits.  But I’m still waiting to hear from you how individuals can effect any change to slow down that industry.  Other than maybe writing en-masse to their legislators — which takes awareness, and frankly above average intelligence to even understand — and even then there’s no guarantee of any change, let alone meaningful change.  What does seem to be helpful from an educational standpoint is pointing out and constantly reminding people how even the companies they know and “trust” (or not, in the case of fb) are gathering way more personal data than they should be, or are making obvious.  From my many years of experience, once people start paying attention to this, they are much more open to discussions about things like the data broker industry, though some of this depends on education level and other factors.

    I doubt anyone but you and me are reading this thread anymore, but if you really care, and aren’t just a google shill, why not come up with 3 things that the average Joe on the street can do to help fight these dirty data brokers?  Then post them here.  Often.  And it would be great if you could do it without always being in the context of coming to the defense of google.  That’s what’s really tiresome, and makes many of your comments come off as insincere.


    edited January 23
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