Article Title: Privacy laws cannot make Facebeook and Google accountable
This article starts on the note that the past year was a bad year for Facebook as its wrongdoings were painstakingly documented. However, there have been grave letdowns in reporting and analysis. The article focuses on and explains these let downs through the example of Cambridge Analytica and the allegations of election manipulation.
The main issue in the CA case was also that the users of the app “this is your digital life”consented to the terms of service, possibly without reading, which gave the app maker, a company called GSR, the right to sell the data related to the users and their Facebook friends. Therefore, it was your friends (or you) who did the sharing, not “Facebook”; nor was “Facebook data” breached, unlike what the headlines suggested.
The article also mentions additional examples to put across the point that it is not the fault of Facebook when data is shared. There are companies like TrueCaller which are more intrusive. Also, companies that one may not have heard of — like Epsilon, Equifaxand Experian — are also intrusive and actually sell your data, unlike Facebook.
The conclusion states that India doesn’t have a proper privacy and data protection law to safeguard citizens, but privacy laws won’t suffice to make them accountable. No set of privacy defaults will fit the needs of over two billion users who will consent to anything without reading the fine print. So solution is that we need to focus on competition and platform openness, rather than privacy alone, which is leading to more closed platforms.
Words to learn from this Article:
Annushorribilis: It is a Latin phrase, meaning “horrible year”.
Intrepid: fearless; adventurous
Conscientious: wishing to do one’s work or duty well and thoroughly.
Odious: extremely unpleasant; repulsive.
Innocuous: not harmful or offensive.
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