The Facebook breach makes it clear: Data must be regulated

We live in a world of big data, where companies get rich off our personal information with few constraints and almost no supervision. Companies offer us free applications that are convenient, useful and fun in exchange for perpetual rights to the data they can harvest from our actions online (and sometimes offline).

The big data companies are opaque to consumers and regulators alike, so few people understand the risks and companies can often hide data breaches for a long time. US law provides very little privacy protection, leaving consumers with little or no recourse when they are harmed.

It is past time that the US recognize that data is too important to be unregulated. Equifax has yet to face significant consequences, despite losing control of the financial data of most adult Americans. Is that appropriate? Will Facebook face consequences for the data it lost to Cambridge Analytica? Will Cambridge Analytica or the Trump campaign be held to account?