Fifty attorneys general are joining an investigation into Google over possible antitrust violations according to the initiative’s leader, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.
I understand both the desire and the need for our government to get a handle on the issues surrounding data privacy, but think about this… let’s say that the outcome is a broken-up Google and Facebook. And let’s say that this makes way for 50 more companies that use data the way Google and Facebook use it today. Then what?
The problem is not how data is being collected. The problem is not collecting data. The problem is how it is used. Specifically, the problem is badly written laws that prohibit certain kinds of information collection (sex, race, PHI, and other sensitive personal data). Why? Because it forces data scientists to create proxies for these attributes. Algorithms that use proxies (which are assumptions — remember the don’t assume meme it makes an “ass” out of “u” and “me”), with substandard or nonexistent feedback loops (to help the AI truly learn from its mistakes) doom the data-driven decision making process to one of the 9 circles of hell (I’m not sure which one).
Breaking up data-rich organizations will simply make more versions of the same data-rich organizations. Allowing more small companies to do what the big companies are doing will not change the impact bad data science is already having on our society (and the problem is not trending in a good direction).
I wrote an essay this past weekend about an alternative way to get control of our data. It’s a reach, but something needs to be done sooner than later.
Author’s note: This is not a sponsored post. I am the author of this article and it expresses my own opinions. I am not, nor is my company, receiving compensation for it.