There's evidence that we're about to see a big new push in "privacy" laws
at both the state and federal level, and while privacy
is important, these laws often do the exact opposite of what they're intended to do. They, like so many laws, do a lot more to give politicians headlines so they can say
they protected constituents' privacy, but the reality is quite different. A recent Forbes article explored what a mess privacy regulations have become
, basically creating huge bureaucracies in order to comply with the laws, but having little to do with actually protecting privacy. Instead, the added regulations have just created the need for people to sign various consent forms that they don't understand, and limited certain types of useful information sharing, while making it that much more difficult to accomplish certain basic tasks. And, on top of everything, in some cases it's actually increasing the privacy risk, by requiring the collection of certain "private" info in a database that now makes it that much more vulnerable.
No one denies that protecting privacy is important -- but that's not what's being done. Instead, politicians are rushing through legislation to make it look like privacy is being protected, when all it really does is create extra burdens on both companies and users without any corresponding privacy benefit.