With big data comes big responsibility. Or at least it should.
We live in a day and age where data rules. It permeates our lives, dictates decisions, and keeps our systems running. The scary part is how easily someone else's negligence or malice can ruin someone's life. Bank accounts can be drained, identities are stolen, sensitive information leaked, and those are just a few risks for an average person.
I have experienced my own data becoming exposed. I was lucky enough to not have my capital one account compromised, but when I looked at my credit score, it indicated that my email was found twice on the dark web. One breach was from Chegg.com, some website that I used back in middle school, it looked like my main email address was the only thing exposed. But the second was from StockX.com, an online sneaker marketplace who was breached. They lost my email, current address (which was luckily my apartment when I was in Italy), a very complex password I had used for important accounts, and full name. I immediately changed all my passwords and went into a panic state, I could have lost my investment accounts which are over 50% of my total assets, my identity, and a litany of other personal information and accounts tied to various accounts. My digital life could have been stolen.
Where is the accountability? Sure if I lost all my money from the inherent negligence of StockX.com, I could sue, and I would most likely not recover my hard-earned savings. Websites hide behind privacy policies, but over-optimistic tech-bros and unapologetic sneakerheads need to be held accountable if they are not jumping for the moon to protect personal data.
There is no current solution for retribution and accountability. Most laws are lax and vague around the protection of data. My credit score's "Take Action" tab only included how to set secure passwords when what I really wanted was to sue StockX for gross negligence, for dangling my digital life towards the wolves.
In one beacon of hope, The State of New York has taken the lead by passing sweeping legislation to push accountability on companies that collect data on consumers to ensure they are not being negligent with our most intimate details. All we can do is hope that legislators continue to force accountability onto those who hold our data.