Privacy / Security

Big data questions face tech firms as Washington makes some NSA changes

Now what?

Tech companies and the U.S. government’s agreement Monday on NSA disclosure issues doesn’t mean the tech industry will go back to its knitting. The companies will likely to keep the pressure on Washington for other changes in the government’s data collecting and surveillance programs.

Politico says there’s enough for both sides to call a victory. Controversial, however, is a provision that would allow the government to take advantage of a new technology or platform created by services less than two years old without disclosing for two years, as the New York Times wrote. That could potentially leave start-ups more vulnerable.

What about companies’ role in data collection and security? I haven’t bought into the logic that what the NSA has been doing in terms of data gathering is akin to data collecting by Google, Facebook and other firms. After all, I want my data forever, and I trust that companies use whatever data they get from me to make their products better or offer services I might want. And besides, what about potential harms? Governments grab data then put dissidents in jail. Google just gives me a different Ann Taylor ad.

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