However, the dawn of the information age has rekindled debates about privacy and use of personal data. Companies across the globe use digital infrastructures to collect massive amounts of data on their users. Some data collection efforts are seen as malicious whereas others are mutually beneficial. In either case, the data collection made possible by the internet and software tools has left consumers feeling like they lack their prior level of privacy. In fact, according to the Role of Trust whitepaper, 90% of US adults feel they have lost control of their data in recent years.
Businesses that protect customer privacy are becoming more and more attractive. Indeed, in March 2019, Mark Zuckerberg announced that he would begin working towards a “privacy-focused” Facebook – a far leap from the company’s current business model.
Further, there has not just been a shift towards privacy at the corporate level, rather there has also been a push for public privacy regulations. Cities like San Francisco have banned the use of facial recognition by municipal government agencies, and regions the European Union created the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). GDPR has created several restrictions on online data collection including fully informing and receiving informative consent from users whose data is being collected. While laws like GDPR these have the correct underlying ideas, however, they are evolving rapidly to best serve the public interest while not inhibiting private sector innovation.