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Kamala Harris owes a big debt to Big Tech a?? and our digital privacy may pay the price

Kamala Harris owes a big debt to Big Tech a?? and our digital privacy may pay the price
As California's top cop, Kamala Harris let Silicon Valley run rampant. If she succeeds Joe Biden, will she allow the tech industry to dominate our digital future?Jim Watson/Getty; Marianne Ayala/InsiderIn the summer of 2012, a lawyer working for Kamala Harris, who was attorney general of California at the time, addressed a policy question that would loom large in the years to come: What approach should the government take when it comes to regulating Facebook?The answer, as conveyed by Harris' office, was "more friend than foe."Harris had just announced that her office was launching a new Privacy Unit meant to "hold accountable those who misuse technology" and "enforce laws regulating the collection, retention, disclosure, and destruction" of personal data. The unit was intended to fill a void left by a state-run privacy office that had lost its funding in the midst of a budget crisis.Facebook was worried. In California, the company still had the halo of a fast-growing, wealth-generating startup. But at the federal level, Facebook was under scrutiny by the Federal Trade Commission, an investigation that would eventually cost the company $5 billion.
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