Tech: An industry in denial

Tomorrow's Business

How is the tech industry adapting to the new, supposedly very strict, rules on consumer privacy?

As a reporter, and a consumer, there seem to be two broad types of response. 1) Absolutely evangelically insisting the rules on GDPR must be following, in letter and in spirit. 2) Absolutely evangelically spouting pro-privacy tracts, while being equally gleeful about working around those rules.

Techy friends who attend conferences held by the digital ad industry tell me I’m not imagining it. That if you listen to the speakers closely, what they are mostly saying, is that their clever tech firm has come up with a way that sort of follows the rules, but allows you to target customers pretty much like you did before.

Google, as usual, is the elephant in the room, just last week being accused of grabbing the health records of 50m Americans.

Perhaps the feeling is, that if Google is going to get away with behaviour that looks so clearly egregious, why shouldn’t the smaller fry just duck and dive a bit?

I think the truth is that the business model of many tech firms is simply bust. I’m no expert, but I can spot an industry in denial.

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