16 Comments
Jun 14, 2022Liked by Matt Stoller

The problem with privacy laws is that they inherently favor the powerful. They mostly give permission to have privacy, but actually maintaining that privacy takes effort and know-how, which means only the powerful can actually get it.

Also, thank you for highlighting that a lot of regulation strengthens monopolies rather than weakening them, because it raises the barrier to entry and is made with the cooperation and input from the existing monopoly.

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Jun 14, 2022Liked by Matt Stoller

Got this at the same time I was reading this article on Gizmodo: https://gizmodo.com/apple-app-store-iphone-ads-privacy-antitrust-germany-pr-1849058746

Focuses on Apple using "Privacy" as a way to shut out competitors, so makes sense the bill they like lets them do it officially.

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Congress should listen to Apple because they employ so many US citizens in well paying positions not to mention the economic benefits to all those US communities where Apple has high value manufacturing plants AND because Apple Pay’s SO much in US taxes … NOT.

Congress should tell Apple to ‘on shore’ operations and pay their full share of corporate taxes or go to hell with antitrust legislation.

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founding

I wonder what narrative will dominate most of the media around these bills...

Thanks you for cutting through the BS as always Matt, the dumpsterfire bill wasn't even on my radar.

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Great article Matt. Perhaps the larger point is that these large companies that own the platforms have tremendous power not just for individual privacy, but for mining data for competitive advantage. For example, Microsoft (who always seem to avoid the regulatory crosshairs) appears to be getting ready to mine their "partners" activities on their Azure platform.

Microsoft will then use the data to 1) create Machine Learning algorithms that automate the partners' manual activities, and 2) Sell the ML automation at a lower cost and cut out their partners down the road. Really quite brilliant, actually.

I wrote about this here: https://security-economics.com/2022/06/08/microsoft-is-about-to-bite-the-hands-that-feed-it/

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One need to look no further than HIPAA to see how well government "privacy" regulations work.

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Pretty darn good. Regulations don't make an impenetrable system, but they do have consequences when they're ignored.

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Great insight into this maze of obfuscation that is our government

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author

"...that is our government distorted by corporate money and power" (same thing :).

One HUGE thing Matt has taught me this decade is that we have the government and laws in place (mostly) to do what needs to be done, we just have to put the right people in place to do the work. I used to think ours was a hopelessly broken system, and it may still end up being so, but there are signs of positive change afoot.

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Thanks Matt- love your writing- the relevant detail, and the great comparisons and analogies! “Wheels-they’re everywhere, we must do something about them, too!” Seems to be the first thing new legislators learn, always add a big fat straw man to your opponents proposed legislation!

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A New Jersey congressmen has written congress performed a self-lobotomy in the Gingrich years:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/posteverything/wp/2019/01/11/feature/why-is-congress-so-dumb/

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Reminds me of the self-lobotomy congress did under Newt Gingrich, firing all the technical advisers.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/posteverything/wp/2019/01/11/feature/why-is-congress-so-dumb/

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It's good antitrust is trying to tackle Tech monopoly but as Matt Stoller points out, the reality of data is so diverse and ubiquitous regulation by targeting specific protections is an impossible task. I think data is/will be existential. The only way to protect privacy - and citizens - is a data freedom equivalent to the First Amendment. Constitutional. Broad principles enshrined. Applicable in law to countless use/abuse cases, same as free speech.

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Matt, this is WORTHY OF A BREAKING POINTS VIDEO. More of your best writing and useful, timely metaphors :)

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DORE ’24 has a nice ring to it !!

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Disagree that Apple was hoping these two bills would get mashed together in order to create gridlock on both fronts. I think they just care more about privacy because their business model is already pro-consumer on that issue. They benefit from privacy legislation indirectly because it hurts other companies who have built their businesses on top of invasive tracking technology.

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