Thanks to the Social Dilemma, the truth behind data collection practices is public knowledge. But that isn’t where the process stops - with thousands of data brokers operating on the data trading market, the number of companies aggregating, sharing and selling people’s data on the net is growing fast
In our latest under CTRL podcast episode with DeleteMe founder Rob Shavell, we explored what trends are to be expected in the privacy and data broker industry.
Read on for a roundup of the 5 key takeaways from our interview:
1. Companies have to move from handling data as an asset to managing it as a by-product
With the amount of data collected by companies, we’ll slowly enter a phase when carelessly handled data will become a headache for data collectors similar to “chemicals and waste products”, Rob explains. “So data (…) will go from becoming just an asset that they can do anything with and make as much money from as they can to, in many respects, the opposite, where they have to take care of it and it will become costly to do so.”
2. The most terrifying thing about AI is that humans will lose control over decisions-making
The vision of a “giant human-like robot” with merged intelligence across the web serves as a great material for filmmakers. The public debate, on the other side, is more focused on the existential impact of AI and the high unemployment rate it will likely cause.
What most concerns Rob is the degree to which AI will reshape many areas of life with a pure data-driven approach, excluding people from life admin tasks like getting health insurance or a credit card.
3. Putting legislative boundaries around how data can be used by tech companies is paramount
Whilst privacy tools are becoming more and more accessible, regulation should support and reinforce these efforts. The US Senate’s antitrust report is just the very first step toward stopping those “too-big-to-fail” companies. Rob believes that a GDPR-like data protection law for the US will ultimately have the power to change the course of action.
4. US is a hotbed for data brokerage, with 20 times more companies trading with user data than in Europe
There are thousands of other companies outside of Google that are crawling the net for valuable data. The US’s laissez-faire approach to data protection provides a breeding ground for these companies, whereas in Europe (due in part to the restrictions of GDPR) the number of data brokers is amounted to around 5% of the overall US market.
5. Data brokers have multiplied the amount of data they collect in the last couple of years
Data brokers are not just everywhere, they have become highly adaptive and astonishingly efficient when it comes to data collection methods - tripling the amount of data points they collect between 2016 and 2020.
Feeling ready to start removing your personal information from the World Wide Web? Check out our full DeleteMe episode:
You can also access a full library of under CTRL podcasts in our Podcast section and through Spotify – and don’t forget to stay connected through Twitter and LinkedIn to get updates on new episode releases and more from the world of privacy and data security!