By Mark Jamison
American Enterprise Institute
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Last month, lawmakers demanded answers from Google about its practice of letting outside developers scan the inboxes of millions of Gmail users who signed up for email services using other apps.
That same day, British regulators said they intend to hit Facebook with a maximum fine of £500,000 for allowing the political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica to harvest information from millions of people without their consent. Meanwhile, the Federal Trade Commission at various points has taken action against both Google and Facebook, along with Twitter and Microsoft for allegedly violating privacy rules. Around the world, Congress and parliaments have held hearings on the topic, with more coming.
If users of these products feel like renowned sci fi star Truman Burbank, who discovers his whole life has been captured by hidden cameras, it’s for good reason. Too many social media companies have allowed people to remain ignorant of how they’re being watched and who’s doing the watching.