link.png Making the Misuse of Your Data a Felony?← Back

According to Time Magazine's Doug Aamoth, there was a great discussion regarding policy and regulation as it pertains to issues of cybersecurity and personal identity. Craig Mundie, Microsoft’s senior advisor to the CEO, lent his expertise on the topic.

Mundie recounted the initial privacy uproar that occurred when credit cards first became available: People were worried that banks could track their credit card purchases, which was true, but ultimately decided that giving up access to this data was worth the tradeoff of convenience and having access to credit. People could control the collection and retention of their data on a simpler level — get a credit card or don’t — which has been one of the basic tenets of the data-collection model for the past 30 years. But Mundie said he thinks “it’s now failing in a gargantuan way.”

Why? Mundie said, “Because there’s just too much data being collected in too many ways. And most of it now is from things where you don’t feel like you had a specific role in the transaction.”

Mundie continued, “I think now it’s just you’re being observed. Whether it’s for commercial purposes or other activities, I don’t think it’s possible anymore to decide to control things by controlling the collection and retention of the data. That’s been what we’ve done, legally, in this country and elsewhere, and I think that’s run its course and we have to move to a new model.”

In other words, instead of trying to opt out of everything that could possibly track you, let’s all just accept that a lot of data’s being constantly collected about us and instead regulate how the data is used.

Mundie goes on to say that most people don’t care that data is being collected about them; they care more about HOW the data is used. Instead of trying to regulate the collection of data, we should be trying to regulate the usage of data.

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