By: Tim Sparapani
CALinnovates, a tech advocacy organization where I am senior policy counsel, recently sponsored a survey of 806 Americans on questions of trust concerning the presidential candidates. Assuming the race comes down to Hillary Clintonand Trump, they wanted to know whom voters trust more.
One question particularly caught my eye. It asked: “Which of these candidates do you trust more to manage the delicate balance between privacy and national security?” Almost half of all respondents (48%) said they trusted Clinton more, while 27% chose Trump.
This is going to be a big issue for the next president, but it’s about more than just who is more trustworthy. We must get the right data policies in place. That cannot happen if we focus on the wrong goals.
The notion that there is a zero-sum game going on between privacy and national security is, and always has been, the wrong way to look at the issue. Privacy and national security actually don’t need to be balanced, they need to be optimized — and by optimizing privacy you optimize security. It may sound counterintuitive, but strengthening national security does not depend on limiting personal privacy. We need strong privacy rules in order to enhance national security.