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Could the Government Help Us Protect Our Data?

February 21, 2020

February 21, 2020

Alan Shark, fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration and associate professor at George Mason University, proposes that the federal government should take better action to protect users’ privacy within their digital footprints.

In an op-ed published by Federal Computer Week, Shark argues that the more technology advances – from apps, smart doorbells, and virtual assistants like Alexa and Siri, to the increased presence of surveillance cameras and automated license plate readers – citizens’ privacy is “being eroded.”

Even worse, users aren’t typically aware how much of their private information is collected by these items and private agencies. Shark says there’s always a cost when accessing things on the internet and using technology, and it’s not always in the form of money: “In today’s digital world, we are told nothing ever gets erased and find ourselves becoming more concerned about the ever-growing digital footprints we leave behind…We are complicit in this privacy dilemma as we gladly accept so much for “free” without questioning how our digital footprints are being monetized and used.”

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