'Runaway algorithms' are wreaking havoc on consumer privacy, DuckDuckGo CEO says
Companies producing "runaway algorithms," or algorithms used by websites that collect consumer data, are bypassing self-regulation and conducting "intrusive personal surveillance," said DuckDuckGo CEO Gabriel Weinberg, in a commentary piece on CNBC. However, legislators struggle to pass legislation that would help contain "data monopolies" such as Facebook and Google.
It is commonly known that websites such as Facebook and Google leave trails of user activity on the internet. But 24% of websites online have a hidden Facebook tracker and 76% of websites have a Google tracker, according to Weinberg.
The collection of such troves of data makes Google and Facebook responsible for about 63% of all digital advertising for "hyper-targeting" consumers, which leads to weakened competition in the market as well as a loss of privacy, according to Weinberg.
In many ways, consumers voluntarily relinquish their privacy with every new IoT device added to their collection. However, just because technologies and applications become more accessible and convenient does not mean companies can ignore pending regulation.
With just a few months until companies are required to comply with GDPR regulations, organizations that capitalize on personal data are sure to take notice. Consent, data rights and protection by design are all required as part of the regulations.
While there are existing privacy rules from country to country, GDPR will extend some continuity becaust it has international impacts that extend far beyond the EU. Consumers need to be made aware of how their data is being used and, if desired, their ability to erase it from companies' holding.
However, an increase in data privacy regulations, alongside restrictive trade and cybersecurity, is resulting in an increase in "obstructions to the flows of data" or "digital fragmentation." Digital fragmentation is a point of contention for CIOs and CTOs because it has the potential of delaying market entry.
The majority of IT leaders say that digital fragmentation will compromise cloud services or cross-border analytics. Still, deciding where to draw the red line is causing tension with both competitors in the market and consumers.
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