Barack Obama feels US needs better tech regulations

Speaking at the Okta Oktane 2018 conference in Las Vegas, Obama expressed how the country needs more tech regulations.
25 May 2018

Barack Obama feels the US needs to regulate tech better. Source: AFP

There’s a new regulation that’s come into effect today that’s made everyone uncomfortable and disrupted a lot of businesses, irrespective of their industry or sector.

In fact, its driven some businesses into the ground. Klout, SteetLend, and even StumbleUpon. Some have blamed the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) for their demise and others have kept mum.

However, the fact is, as of this morning, EU citizens and residents feel a lot safer on the internet.

Unfortunately, that’s not the case for the US population. Their data, still in the hands of giants and SMEs, makes them vulnerable in cyberspace and allows them to be targeted specifically based on their private information.

At a tech conference in Las Vegas earlier this week, ex-US president Barack Obama emphasized the need for more regulations for US tech companies.

He acknowledged that when it comes to regulating the country’s tech companies, the government doesn’t move fast enough, and often doesn’t cooperate as well as it needs to.

As far as data is concerned, Obama echoes the voice of citizens seeking more regulations in order to protect privacy.

He told the audience that the government needs to make more effort to understand how data is collected and used, and weigh in what happens to people’s data and “how it gets commercialized.”

Obama hopes the country’s leading tech companies will work with lawmakers to come up with regulations for “a framework, agreed upon, transparent, that people understand.”

According to the Business Insider, both sides should be willing, if not exactly eager, to get such regulations on the books. Obama feels that the current, spasmodic way of responding to concerns needs improvement.

“There’s been a data breach, people are outraged, they feel they don’t know that their data was used in a particular way, so then people [in the Valley and in Washington] scramble to catch up to the headlines,” said Obama.

At the event, Obama expressed his wish for industry leaders to become proactive and help lawmakers make the right decision.

Entrepreneurs must go to lawmakers in advance and tell them, “Here are the questions we have to grapple with, here’s the business model we think makes sense, here are the tools we have to work with. We recognize we are under some obligation that ordinary people and consumers understand what it is they are giving up and getting in return.”

Finally, Obama also emphasized that regulations aren’t just needed to protect and manage social media data. Emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, cryptocurrencies, and others need to be reviewed as well.