Friday, May 14, 2010

Schumer’s hypocritical assault on Facebook

We read:
"Hypocrisy in politics is nothing new. But Senator Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) set a new standard for it last week when he and three of his colleagues attacked social networking giant Facebook over its privacy practices. In a scathing letter, the senators demanded that Facebook change certain features to give users greater “control over their information.” The real threat to privacy, however, comes not from innovative companies like Facebook, but from posturing politicians.

One moment, Sen. Schumer implores Facebook to change its privacy policies. The next, he’s leading the push in Congress to require all Americans to have national ID cards. Unlike social networking sites, which are entirely voluntary, Americans will not be able to “opt out” of Schumer’s national ID scheme. (Schumer’s proposal even requires citizens’ biometric information, like an iris scan or fingerprint.) Perhaps Sen. Schumer could use a dose of his own privacy medicine.

But when politicians threaten innovative Internet companies with government mandates, they undermine the experimentation that has been so crucial to America’s incredible high-tech achievements. The United States is home to innovators like Google, Facebook, and Yahoo! precisely because our government has largely avoided regulating the Internet.

The information age is still in its infancy. Most digital frontiers remain unexplored. They will stay that way if politicians deny companies like Facebook the freedom to experiment with novel approaches to sharing information online. If Sen. Schumer and his colleagues really want to safeguard Americans’ privacy, they should focus on reforming the federal government’s own invasive policies.



Anonymous said...

He's quite correct in wanting to block facebook and others from abusing the private information of users.
Those sites are a major hazzard, a treasure trove for identity theft, and the operators have a lot of incentive to collect more and more information and sell it to the highest bidder.

If a government agency were to do the same the ACLU and privacy watchdogs would be all over them, and rightly so.

Anonymous said...

While I agree that Facebook potentially is a threat to privacy the big difference between it and government agencies is that the user provides their own information (or not) and has some control over what is put on there and what level they set access at. There is no compulsion.

Anonymous said...

I understand your point Anon 4:44, but facebook is simply a vehicle. It's the mindless fools who go there and put all their private information (and thoughts) out there for the world to see, then cry, complain, and whine when it all goes wrong. If you want this kind of thing to stop, you don't need to regulate places like facebook, you need a law making stupidity a crime. But you had better build a whole lot more prisons first!

As for Chuck Schumer, (unfortunately, he's my state sen.) if you know him, you would understand why he does things like this. Old Chuckie couldn't care less about facebook, or the fools who use it. What Chuck does care about is, exposure. It is said that, in DC, the most dangerous place to be standing is between Chuck and a TV camera crew. This is nothing new. In fact, we call him "lens lice". You see, Chuckie is in a very desperate (albeit quiet) battle to become majority leader of the senate, especially since even he knows Harry Reid's career is over. (thank God)

If blind ambition were a weapon, Chuckie would be a WMD. Aside from that, and while still being a dangerous, hard-core leftist, Chuckie is basically useless. Oh, one thing more. Don't ever believe "anything" he says!