It is time for conservatives to wake up to Big Tech’s privacy violations. Today’s tech behemoths amass huge volumes of information about us and use this data to develop profiles that predict behavior and receptivity, everything from the content of emails to tracking our daily activities, habits and wants. This is a form of corporate surveillance that would surely violate the 4th Amendment if it was engaged in by the government.
Privacy is a conservative ideal. In 2013, when the government was caught engaging in surveillance overreach, it was conservatives like Senators Lee and Cruz, who pushed back and fought for the 4th Amendment. These Conservatives fought for the USA Freedom Act reforms that curbed government surveillance in the Internet age. It’s time for a USA Freedom Act to protect against Big Tech platforms, including Facebook, Google, and Amazon.
Conservatives should also support the idea of data as a property right. Every year, Big Tech makes billions of dollars from harvesting our data without paying any form of compensation to us, the end user. Creating a market for consumer data would not only give consumers leverage over the Big Tech platforms, it would also foster marketplace competition by allowing consumers to decide which service gets their business and which service does not.
Creating a data market is a free market solution to Big Tech’s dominance and interference in our daily lives because a data market could attract new companies to start up and compete with the Big Tech platforms for our business.