Ethical Behavior and Effective Regulation? Are You Kidding Me?

May 27, 2022

I read “Tech Industry Groups Are Watering Down Attempts at Privacy Regulation, One State at a Time.” I found the write up amusing for two reasons: [1] Those wonderful technology companies have a masterful approach to disinformation. Their expertise has technical and interpersonal dimensions. What one does not know or can find easily cannot become much of a problem. [2] The suppressive actions of some entities have one goal: Increasing the span of operating freedom in economic, political, and technical spheres.

The write up states:

Big Tech funded nonprofits like TechNet, the State Privacy and Security Coalition, and the Internet Association have traveled from state to state encouraging legislators to “mirror” those industry-authored bills. TechNet representatives, for example, have testified or supplied written comments on privacy bills in at least 10 states since 2021, more than any other organization, according to our analysis of state legislative records. And lobbyists have come in droves: We counted 445 lobbyists and lobbying firms that actively represented Amazon, Apple, Google, Meta,  Microsoft, TechNet, and the State Privacy and Security Coalition in the 31 states we examined, during the time those states’ legislatures were considering privacy legislation. Many of them registered as lobbyists for the first time in the weeks immediately before or after a privacy bill was introduced

What’s the fix? I have heard that technology companies are not bigger than a government. I am not sure I agree. As long as money is available, it can buy legislative love or at least ignoring the obvious.

Perhaps the Markup will spark some change? Not as long as certain firms have their own playbook, their own rules, and their own sycophants in my opinion. Its been great having one click this, free maps, and executives telling Congressional committees “Senator, thank you for your question. I provide that information to you.”

Working great!

Stephen E Arnold, May 27, 2022

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