Tuesday afternoon one my partners asked me what the discussion about securities law has to do with Big Data. A good question. I had three things in mind when I wrote the last couple of posts.
First, there is a privacy issue regarding the need to expose personal information in order to participate in commerce and society. That personal information is Big Data.
Second, I am concerned about inconsistency in the laws and regulations that relate to privacy matters. This costs our economy. It also makes us, as individuals, uncertain about our rights.
Finally, I have concerns about the quality of the debate on these important issues, as well as the quality of the regulatory and legislative work. A principal motivator for the last two posts was my concern that government in general (and the SEC in particular in this case) isn’t doing a quality job addressing the subject of those posts. That isn’t a statement about policy, it’s a statement about workmanship. There has just not been enough thought before action. In addition, the laws and regulations are often too vague, or we are given guidance as a substitute for clear law and regulation. (We talked about that in the earlier posts about the work of California’s Attorney General.) In addition, I am not impressed with the quality of the commentary on this particular subject. It seems self-important and lacking in thoughtful analysis. I think that compounds the problems we have with government.
I am aware that the last bit probably sounds naïve – maybe a little self-important. I am also aware that, as probably the largest vendor of typos in the legal industry, my house is at least partially made of glass. I’ll take the chance of seeming naïve and hypocritical. I think we deserve better than we’re getting.