Hazlett on Facebook and Privacy
By David Henderson
While Congress has been holding hearings, poking tech execs, and dancing the legislative Fandango, the marketplace has imposed actual sanctions. Between the time Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal was revealed, March of last year, and March of this year, shareholders lost more than $61.6 billion adjusted for overall market (NASDAQ) fluctuations. In contrast, Sen. Wyden’s 4 percent fine—even if applied to global sales, and instantly—would whack just $2.2 billion from the Facebook moguls.
This paragraph is from Thomas Hazlett, “Zuckerberg’s Plea: Regulate Me Before I Violate People’s Privacy Again!”, Reason, April 17.
Another great paragraph:
Third, Congress protecting our privacy…you’re joking, right? In 2014 and 2015, hackers deployed by the Chinese government snuck onto U.S. government servers and helped themselves to extensive records on over 20 million Americans. The Office of Personnel Management had stored employee files unencrypted, leaving the data muffins warm and delicious. Millions lost their Social Security numbers, medical histories, and fingerprints to cyber thieves.
Since, as (then) a federal employee, I had just finished updating my data with OPM, I’m pretty sure I was one of the people whose data were hacked.
The whole piece is in Tom’s beautiful style of tight economic reasoning, tight reasoning generally, and humorous wording. Recommended.