Can Laws Protect Us?
There are many ‘Privacy Laws’ to protect our privacy. Are these enough? Privacy laws are built after privacy violations and after some of these online companies have made a lot of money abusing your private and sensitive personal information. The more they know about you, the more money they can make. Regulating human greed of making money through laws is a race where laws are always found to be the one catching-up. Ultimately businesses serve and make money. If they are ever penalized for violations, it is only a monetary penalty, which in the business world is termed as “Cost of doing business”. For e.g.: BP paid $4.5B in federal fines for dumping 205 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico for the biggest environmental disaster in the history of America. The Federal Trade Commission formally announced its $5 billion settlement with Facebook on Wednesday morning, which is the culmination of a years-long investigation into the Cambridge Analytica scandal and other privacy breaches. Google was fined $1.4M in Italy for street view capturing car violations. While this is a step in the right direction, these do not solve the underlying issue that individuals like us face every day due to privacy violations.
In my opinion, many of the data protection Laws and Bills are a step in the right direction and is a much required legal framework to govern privacy. Unfortunately, these laws are so broad in its definitions that nothing has changed for these data gathering and mining companies except that they are now rather ‘cautious’ in their data abuse.
What are my Legal Right to Privacy?
The Right to privacy refers to the concept that one’s personal information is protected from public scrutiny. U.S. Justice Louis Brandeis called it “the right to be left alone.” While not explicitly stated in the U.S. Constitution, some amendments provide some protections.