Do We Need Bank-Like Regulations On Tech Giants For Data Security?

Silicon Valley giants being interrogated for not following government regulations has become increasingly common. The organizations that are being trusted by billions are too casual while handling the data or following predefined regulations. There is no denying the fact that in case any improvisation is suggested or a fine is been imposed, they will immediately implement it. But will they be able to undo the effects of their negligence?

Once anything is on the Internet and within the claws of hackers, it can never be wiped off. This fact is not unknown to experienced professionals and yet they opt to ignore them. On the flip side, the scenario in the banking sector is critical, not sticking to rules costs them fortune and therefore they are extra cautious. This implies that we need to implement strict regulations and increase the magnitude of the ignoring the rules. So, if you are wondering whether tech giants need regulations for data security like banks, then we’d say yes, they should!


What Experts Have To Say?

Recently, Nick Thompson, Editor in chief of Wired, enlightened tech enthusiasts about backlash against Silicon Valley. He conveyed that there are some factors that are responsible for this. Firstly, we are obsessed with them. Let’s take an example of Facebook, the people were so addicted to it that they forgot that their privacy is equally important. Secondly, if we talk about power, what the Silicon Valley tech giants have, is beyond our imagination. The companies, namely Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Tencent, and others have most of the data. Moreover, it is claimed that they have almost all the information about almost all the citizens of the globe digitally. Practically thinking, this much power to these companies isn’t good as it may create a fear in the minds of people and other complications regarding data privacy as well. And finally, the tech giants are having too much control over the Internet which makes it impossible to find any information. We don’t know what to trust and what not to anymore. According to a report given by Bank of America, “Technology is the least regulated industry sector with just 27,000 regulations, versus 215,000 for manufacturing and 128,000 for the financial sector.”

See Also: Will Smart Cities Compromise Data Security

Regulations in Banking Vs Tech Sector

We are well aware that even a small bug in finance sector has the potential to affect the entire economy of a country. But let’s talk about technological sector. What will happen if a ransomware attack hits again? People will be forced to pay. What happens when a tech giant fails to keep our data safe and ends up spying on us? Nothing! They’ll just apologize and pay a fine which can easily be recovered. If you notice the difference, till powerful people remain unaffected, no action is taken. Be it for fake news or Twitter or even Facebook.

Also, we have witnessed the advancements and know that these will not stop anytime soon. To cope with them we need new policies that save us and our data privacy. Today, Margrethe Vestager is the most feared person; you ask why? Because she is Europe’s Antitrust Enforcer and has power to regulate and impose implementation in no time. She says that “We’re really making an effort to understand the different laws of data — how it works as an asset, how it influences the marketplace.” She is forced to take action because we are well aware that data is the new money and if we remain blindfolded to this we are digging our own graves. Moreover, many popular apps by organizations are introducing payments feature as well. Earlier they had only our personal details, pictures, list of what interests us, but soon they will know about all our financial details as well. If they are accepted worldwide, they would be able to keep an eye on us like never before. Thus, strict regulations imposed on tech giants is the need of the hour.

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Well, some steps are being taken in this direction, but they seem to work for a few and exclude others. We need something that treats everyone equally despite their dissimilarities. But how can that be done?

What All Should Be Considered By Regulators?

There are certain loopholes that are left ignored and thus the problems arise. So, if they consider three of them, they can skip failing in their job. What are they? Let’s take a look:

We don’t have forever to decide what needs to be done

In the name of research, the regulatory bodies take too much of time to introduce new rules. Like technology these rules also need to be evolve keeping in minds user security and privacy. They need to understand delaying will only make the matters worse and thus fast processing is needed. We cannot wait for the tech giants to acquire more power while we are waiting for a new law. If we take example of Facebook, we knew from a very long time that it is mining our data. But the questions regarding the same are raised now; when it has enormous amount of data about millions of people. Same is the case with Google as well, it knows far more than Facebook and yet no measures to check the same are been taken. In case the regulators are seriously concerned about our data privacy, they need to take actions as soon as something unethical is noticed.

Lack of familiarity is a serious problem

Another concern that came into light not long ago, is that often people who are asked to make regulations or the ones who have power to do so are the least informed people. How can someone make a judgement with half-baked knowledge? Let’s take an example, if there are some issues with Uber and new rules are required then only those people who have used this readily and have ample knowledge should be eligible to make rules. If not, the regulations would be made but there won’t be any improvement in any grounds. For example, the panel that was questioning CEO of Facebook about privacy issues was quite diversified. A few of them were degree holders in the relevant field who were able to put forward some serious issues regarding privacy. However, some were not even aware of how the platform works! The question is, if they didn’t have the basic knowledge, were they qualified to question him?

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Implementation issues

In some rare cases, the regulations are for benefit of the people but the way they are inserted in the existing rules make them messy. The experts who are making these should take time and analyze before passing an order of implementation. This will not only bring clarity but also make the work of implementers easier. The best example in this context is the case of Florida. In 2013, the governing party of Florida was investigating about Internet gambling in which one of their officials, Lt. Governor Jennifer Carroll, was suspected. In the process, they passed a law that banned use of the Internet. Basically, they wanted to forbid people from gambling, it was a good thought indeed, but no thought was put before implementation. This resulted in making the state Internet deprived and an example of bad implementation of a new regulation.

There are many more, but one point remains crystal clear and that is if we wish to keep our identity and assets safe, we need to act fast. Once the regulations are stringent enough everything will fall in place and we’ll no longer live in fear of being ripped off our privacy. What do you think? Do let us know in the comments section.

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