Richard Stallman weighed in Friday on what he calls “massive commercial surveillance of individuals,” saying that the two camps arguing about it “both miss the point.” First there’s the trustbusters who want to break Big Tech companies into smaller firms too small to eliminate their competition or exert undue influences on regulators. Then there’s those who urge carefully-calibrated regulations to ensure tech companies always act in a way that’s good for society. RMS writes:
By arguing about whether to divide up the power that this data gives to businesses, or to regulate the use of it (perhaps nationalizing it), they miss the point that both alternatives destroy our privacy and give the state a perfect basis for repression.
The danger is to collect that data at all.
More generally, I think the idea of taxing companies for the magnitude of harm that they do (regardless of whether they broke any rules to do it) is a good one.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.