Corporate giants are reaping unprecedented profits by collecting and trading information about our personal lives. These include digital platforms like Google, Facebook, and Amazon, but also more conventional players like credit card companies and credit rating agencies. In each instance increasing corporate concentration and declining competition reduces the ability of ordinary Americans to resist corporate assaults on their right to privacy.
Enforcers from around the world, from Germany to Washington, DC Attorney General Karl Racine and New York Attorney General Letitia James, are taking meaningful action against Facebook. It’s time for Congress to investigate why the FTC has not.
“The FTC’s likely fine appears to be grossly insufficient to punishing Facebook for its outrageous behavior,” stated Open Markets Executive Director Barry Lynn. “By failing to stand up for its own authority, the FTC appears, in turn, to be demonstrating complete disregard for the fundamental interests of the American people.”
Open Markets Editorial and Policy Director Phil Longman published a feature piece on the Washington Monthly explaining how corporations primary objective in collecting your personal data is to gouge you. He explains how today’s big tech platforms are no different from historic network industries — railroads and the telegraph — and how considering price discrimination should be an important standard in the national privacy debate.