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Opinion: We Should Let the Market Sort Itself Out

DATA PROTECTION—U.S.

August 16, 2012

In a blog post for Harvard Business Review, Larry Downes discusses the relationship between large-scale data collection and privacy, a relationship he says is “more complicated than it seems.” The more information a company collects about a customer, the less interesting the information is. “Marketers want to know intimate facts about individual behaviors,” but the more they collect, the more anonymous individuals become; they are essentially “lost in a crowd.” To individuals, information used for specific targeting purposes is “creepy,” but legislation should be last the resort, Downes writes, adding that we should “give the market the first shot” at sorting itself out.
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