LA Times: The Internet Has Become A Monster And Needs Restrictions Or Something

Opinion writer George Skelton misses the irony in slamming the very platform that allows you to read his screeds

The internet is no longer an infant that needs freedom to innovate — it’s grown into a monster and needs to be restricted

Real estate developer Alastair Mactaggart became alarmed about the internet’s threat to personal privacy while chatting with a Google engineer at a cocktail party.

“I asked, ‘What’s this deal with all the privacy stuff? Is it anything to be worried about?'” Mactaggart recalls. “I expected him to say, ‘No, it’s not a big deal.’

“Instead he said, ‘If people only knew how much we know about them, they’d really freak out.'”

“I was taken aback,” the developer says. “That got me interested.”

Now the big internet companies are freaking out over what Mactaggart is doing. He’s threatening to jeopardize the operations of Google, Facebook and the like with a ballot initiative that regulates profiteering off their users’ private data. (snip)

It’s not just the marketing of political candidates that personal data is used for, of course. It’s also employed to market shoes, TV sets, cars, you name it. Companies glean information about your hobbies, age, children, residence, religion, gender and sexual orientation. And they use it to target ads at specific groups.

Quite frankly, I’m not sure what the big deal is. I’ve read article after article, and ads mean nothing. This happens in real life all the time. When you buy a car, companies are snagging your registration data, and call to say you need a warranty. It has to be explained to customers all the time that their vehicle warranty is just fine, ignore the calls.

The internet is no longer the infant that needed freedom to innovate and grow unregulated, if it ever was. It has grown into a monster and now needs to be restricted — like the railroads at the turn of the last century and financial institutions during the Great Depression.

And the actual recommendation?

Mactaggart’s initiative would affect companies that earn at least $50 million a year and derive half their annual revenue by peddling personal information.

Consumers would have the right to learn what info is collected. They’d need to be told whether it was disseminated and to whom. They could tell the companies to stop selling or sharing it. They couldn’t be charged more for internet service if they opted out. And they could sue if they were ignored.

OK. I guess. What, exactly, is this going to do? Here’s the real concerning part, the last line

Some regulation is needed. The Wild West days of an uncontrolled internet should be history.

The problem here is that if you give Progressives (nice Fascists) and inch, they’re going to want more and more inches immediately, working hard to get that proverbial mile. It’s a never ending cycle of more and more government involvement, interference, and control.

Oh, and it’s interesting that Liberals are suddenly Very Concerned over tech companies that tend to be very big donors to the Democratic Party collecting lots of data on citizens who use their product for advertising, yet are unconcerned that illegal aliens steal the identities of American citizens and essentially ruin their lives.

If someone wants to explain why this data collection is bad enough to require government, please.

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2 Responses to “LA Times: The Internet Has Become A Monster And Needs Restrictions Or Something”

  1. “Some Legislation is needed.” HAHAHAHA!

    Our legislators aren’t competent to write law for technology. They are in the wrong generation. They don’t move fast enough or think far enough ahead. They would be playing whack-a-mole with whatever media pet rock comes along while the malefactors have already moved on to the next thing.

    The right people to “regulate” on line behavior are the product providers. As long as the internet is voluntary, no regulation is needed. If it becomes non-voluntary, regulation is already too much.

  2. Dana says:

    There’s only one reason to regulate the internet: Donald Trump won the election! That’s all the reason that the anti-free speechers need!

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