November 13, 2018
Opt-In Mandates Should Not Be Included in Privacy Laws
Congress is likely to consider a comprehensive federal privacy law next year, and some are pushing for an “opt-in” requirement for all forms of data collection, which would require that users affirmatively agree to any collection of personal information. AAF’s Director of Technology and Innovation Policy William Rinehart explores findings around people’s awareness of data collection and the value of privacy, concluding that a mandatory opt-in regime would not help nearly as much as some suppose.
The likely outcome of an opt-in regime is not more knowledge, however. Many people already understand that their data is being gathered, and often people don’t take the time to dig deep into companies’ privacy policies anyway. The most likely outcomes of an opt-in privacy regime affect innovation and jobs, as such a policy is burdensome, especially for smaller companies. It is on the basis of these negative outcomes that an opt-in mandate should not be pursued.
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