The debate thus far has systematically underestimated the benefits to consumers from the use of personal data to tailor advertising, develop new products, and conduct research, while overstating the dangers of data, which remain largely conjectural. With the best of intentions, we are heading towards reshaping the fundamentals of the Internet – in ways that may have serious negative unintended consequences for privacy, the sites and services consumers enjoy, and the health of the ecosystem. But the way we’re doing it may be even more troubling. This is not he result of a bottom-up evolutionary process, but of collusion between government and powerful market players. We are heading for opt-in dystopias.

An excerpt from TechFreedom President Berin Szoka’s testimony at the US Senate Commerce Committee’s hearing, “The Need for Privacy Protections: Is Industry Self-Regulation Adequate?” Check out his full testimony.