“Slow down, cowboys” — that’s what Senator Kamala Harris (D-California) said when prosecutors in her office wanted to bring a case against companies that let apps download someone’s entire address book, because surely that’s a complete violation of privacy?! The issue was a perfect example of the perfect storm playing out right now between existing laws and new technologies that are evolving faster than laws can.
So how do we move forward, bringing transparency and even more openness — while also protecting privacy and safety (especially of those who are vulnerable)? The problem is that many litigators and legislators are unfortunately faced with false choices: to be “soft” on crime or “hard” on crime, for example, when the answer is to be “smart” on crime instead.
Born and bred in the world’s 6th-largest economy — that is, the state of California, where she was once District Attorney, then Attorney General, and is now U.S. Senator — Harris shares not just “protocols and procedures, but perspective” in this episode of the a16z Podcast recorded as part our annual a16z Tech Policy Summit, in Washington, D.C., last month.