Personal data regarding US citizens should be considered personal property, unless the citizen has agreed to publish it. Divulging personal data, either directly or through decisions and actions, to a private company does not constitute "publishing."

The major online platforms have essentially become monopolies— a staple of the digital economy that few can afford to avoid— and therefore the fine-print agreements they require that permit them to sell personal data to third parties constitutes a form of extortion and should be outlawed.

Government collection of personal data on US citizens without consent constitutes seizure of personal property. Personal data on US citizens that falls legitimately into the hands of government should be classified the equivalent of Top Secret and treated accordingly.

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An EXCELLENT perspective and analysis. Thanks. While I agree that control of data is complex and has political, social, and economic ramifications, I suggest there is no such thing as a “friendly government” relative to citizen data sales. A government is “friendly” insofar as there are synchronous policy, economic, and cultural standards- but such can easily change.

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I disagree that this type of data collection is "essential." The American economy has been a world leader well before this nefarious data collection in the name of making our consumer spending easier. I doubt the economic impact of slowing the manic consumption of unnecessary Chinese consumer products would have "significant negative impacts."

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