Gus Hurwitz on withholding personal data

Gizmodo –ICLE Director of Law & Economics Programs Gus Hurwitz was one of several experts asked to weigh in on the “Can I stop big data companies from getting my personal information?” as part of Gizmodo‘s “Giz Asks” series. You can read his full answer here.

The simple answer is ‘not really,’ and the longer answer is more complicated.

There’s an entire ecosystem of what we may think of as ‘Big Data companies.’ The most obvious are companies that users interact with directly, like large social media platforms, retailers, and media platforms. These companies can directly see a lot about what users do online. But there are also data aggregators and data brokers, which may not interact with consumers directly but instead get data about consumers from companies or other sources that do.