The opacity of data collection

  • by Arlo Gilbert
  • · posted on November 10, 2022
  • · 4 min read
The opacity of data collection

Hello all! American Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and before you know it, it’ll be Christmas and the New Year—and with it, a cavalcade of new data privacy laws.

With rapidly changing regulations, I am expanding our regulatory team at Osano and am hiring several full-time Privacy Analysts. If you think you would be a good fit, check out the role description here!

But I won’t harp on about how busy 2023 will be for data privacy compliance. If that’s something you’re interested in diving into, I recommend reviewing our six-month and three-month countdown blogs. (Keep your eyes peeled for the one-month installment in the near future.)

Instead, I’d like to draw attention to a topic covered in one of our stores in this edition of Privacy Insider: Data brokers.

NPR’s Planet Money podcast recently provided an overview of what data brokers are, and how many app developers aren’t even aware that some of the SDKs they rely on to build their apps’ functionality supply these brokers with their end users’ data. In fact, some data brokers market their SDKs to developers precisely so they can tap into end users’ data.

It’s an excellent example of how data collection and processing are so frequently concealed from the general public. The average consumer has a decent understanding that if they use a free social media platform, their data is being collected. That’s thanks in part to regulation and clear privacy policies. But social media is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to data collection. 

The average consumer will almost never interact with a data broker or become familiar with the million different ways their data is being collected, analyzed, packaged, and sold. Not all of this data collection is necessarily noncompliant or opaque—but a lot of it is. When consumers aren’t informed about data collection and when there are no checks on what businesses can do with that data, everybody loses.

Curious about privacy? Find out how Osano automates compliance & saves you time! Learn more

So, if 2023’s new data privacy laws have you feeling anxious, just know that these regulations have been a long time coming and will ultimately lead to a safer, more privacy-aware internet.

Best,

Arlo


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About The Author · Arlo Gilbert

Arlo Gilbert is the CEO & co-founder of Osano. An Austin, Texas native, he has been building software companies for more than 20 years in categories including telecom, payments, procurement, and compliance. In 2005 Arlo invented voice commerce, he has testified before congress on technology issues, and is a frequent speaker on data privacy rights.