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Double-Edged Sword: Cambridge Analytica Whistle-Blower Exposes the Dual Nature of Technology

In his cautionary tale, 1984, author George Orwell spoke of a paradigm where the unregulated use of powerful technology, referred to as “telescreens”, manifested a society beholden to the ethics of the controller. This paradigm is perhaps more real than ever, according to an article by Reuters

By exploring the views of Cambridge Analytica whistle-blower Christopher Wylie, the article advises that the deep, multifaceted involvement of big tech companies in consumers’ lives, the ultimate dependence that arises from such involvement and the overwhelming vulnerability of such consumers renders tech companies “too big to fail”. Wylie argues that the vast imbalance of power and information in favour of these companies over users is resulting in a constant scrambling by regulators to control the rapid adoption of such technology forms.

The article explores that tech experts point to the positives of technology forms, which on our analysis include the use of “Robo-Advisers” in the financial sector which have re-created the way financial institutions do business and the recent Cyber Attacks initiated by US Forces we have previously blogged in respect of. However, on the other hand, the article stresses the persistent threats posed by various forms of technology on individual privacy. Such forms, when controlled by state actors, financially-motivated parties, or simply malicious individuals, display that whilst consumers need to exercise caution with respect to their technology use and therefore implement sufficient protections, government representatives need to keep on their toes to ensure that such threats are addressed on a regulatory level. We will watch this space and let you know any further updates.

Copyright 2020 K & L GatesNational Law Review, Volume IX, Number 336


About this Author

Cameron Abbott, Technology, Attorney, Australia, corporate, KL Gates Law Firm

Mr. Abbott is a corporate lawyer who focuses on technology, telecommunications and broadcasting transactions. He assists corporations and vendors in managing their technology requirements and contracts, particularly large outsourcing and technology procurements issues including licensing terms for SAP and Oracle and major system integration transactions.

Mr. Abbott partners with his clients to ensure market leading solutions are implemented in to their businesses. He concentrates on managing and negotiating complex technology solutions, which...