ILF Calls for Transparent Data Privacy Protections
By Soo Kyung Koo, Executive Director
In recent years, the internet has become a crucial pillar in the lives of all groups and communities in the United States. For many of us, it’s hard to imagine a day without an internet-connected device by our side. A recent study concluded that only 11 percent of Americans don’t use the internet. A similar study found that 95 percent of Asian Americans use the internet regularly, the largest portion of any ethnic group in the United States. There is no question that the internet has a dominating role in our community, but there are still many questions about the rules that regulate this powerful technology.
As seen in reoccurring media cycles, the public has become increasingly concerned about protecting their personal data online. News that Facebook allowed Cambridge Analytica to extract the personal information of millions of users without their knowledge spurred much of this controversy. Although shocking to the public, this is not where online privacy breaches began.
Court cases and congressional hearings have highlighted the lack of existing policy designed to regulate the internet and protect the public’s privacy. To mitigate unrest, Congress should intervene and create comprehensive legislation that will equally regulate all internet platforms and create an Internet Bill of Rights that will guarantee privacy protections for digital consumers.
Legislation must be enacted because past regulations have been fleeting. Shifting presidential administrations and federal agency leadership has led to numerous regulations, yet no permanent laws. The new law should be applicable to all internet platforms including operating systems, ISPs, apps, and online advertisers. Additionally, the legislation must contain data rules that apply to commercial businesses and government institutions alike.
Blanket legislation addressing this matter will allow the public to regain confidence in their devices. While most of us agree that the internet has been an important catalyst for innovation, allowing inconsistent regulations to prevail is an impetuous act that will continue to leave us feeling unsafe and confused on the internet.
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