US Agency to Announce 'Surveillance Industry' Regulation

    US Agency to Announce 'Surveillance Industry' Regulation
    Last updated Aug 15, 2023
    Image credit: Unsplash


    • Rohit Chopra, the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau — a US government agency — will announce Tuesday a new rule to restrict the types of consumer data that can be sold by businesses. It will require data brokers, or any other company in the so-called surveillance industry, to be covered by the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
    • Bureau officials have already stated that they aim to broaden the number of companies currently subject to the 53-year-old law, including the use of data derived from payment histories, personal income, and criminal records.
    • The Bureau wants to ensure that data brokers selling sensitive information do so only for valid financial purposes, such as employment background checks or credit decisions, rather than to give third parties unnecessary access to private data for self-interested reasons. Examples of third-party use could include training artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms or chatbots.
    • This follows a public Bureau inquiry in March that found data brokers reported consumers in financial distress to companies who then targeted them with schemes such as predatory debt products.
    • Alongside the consumer agency, the Federal Trade Commission last year also proposed a set of regulations aimed at restricting how all businesses collect and use consumer data. Though Congress has debated the issue for years, it has failed to pass a nationwide data privacy law.


    Democratic narrative

    The Biden admin. has worked to protect sensitive consumer data since he took office. Prompted by a series of executive orders, the White House has strengthened bureaucratic powers to hold tech companies accountable and stop them from stealing digital data. As AI grows in importance, Biden is taking steps to protect citizens from the surveillance industrial complex.

    Republican narrative

    Sadly, Biden's history with tech companies shows the White House has no intention of protecting all Americans. If his administration actually cared about this, they wouldn't have demanded that Big Tech suppress conservative speech from social media. Bullying platforms to censor conservative users require leveraging surveillance state techniques. The American people deserve better policies and First Amendment protections.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 29% chance that a dense machine-learning model with at least 100 trillion parameters will be trained before 2026, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

    Political split



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