Let's face it. The times they are a changin'. Just as the Supreme Court stated today in its Voting Rights decision.
"Things have changed dramatically"... in the nearly 50 years since the Voting Rights Act was signed in 1965. So has the way we communicate, store, and gather information.
Facebook, Twitter, Google, and companies like them don't make or sell any tangible products, nor do they charge a single penny to use them, yet they are among the most valuable and powerful our generation has ever seen.
The reason for this is because of the information they possess. And in this day and age, information is the new currency. The world's biggest corporations -- as well as the world's biggest hackers -- will pay a premium for access to that information. So, too, will some of the world's biggest governments. Thus, there is a 24/7 mad, mad, mad, mad race to own and control the most information and have your industrialized fist firmly around the throat of the most consumers at a moment's notice.
Because of this race, things are changing exponentially in the world of social media and communication on what seems to be a weekly basis, yet Congress seems to be stuck in the 1950s when it comes to updating and/or writing new laws which govern the worlds of social media and technology.
If the folks on capitol hill demonstrated one-tenth of the passion for the above as they show when climbing over each other for a photo-op with 'Zuck' or "Brin," the Information Super-Highway might not suffer as many "wrecks" caused, in part, by a complete lack of accountability on the part of these 23-year-old CEOs.
According to tech watchdog, Erich Feinberg, who recently discovered the six-year old Zeus virus draining thousands of people's bank accounts using Facebook, the official response from Facebook during any security breach, no matter the size, is, "essentially, people should be careful about what links they're clicking on."
There needs to be some kind of accountability for controlling everyone's data, same as there is for controlling everyone's money.
We, the users, are Facebook's stock. We are Twitter's product. Without us, these sites are nothing. Yet, the user is exactly who takes it up the you-know-what every time another social media site is hacked. From there, it's up to us to clean up whatever mess might be left -be it a link to counterfeit merchandise posted prominently on your profile or an empty checking account.
It took the financial collapse of the global economy to tune our leaders into the fact there may be a problem here. It took thousands upon thousands of people losing everything before our government would even consider bringing criminal charges against the heads of the banks and the money markets.
We're not asking for prison time for these tech giants -- Lord knows if the folks at BP are still running around free, information leakers don't have anything to worry about. All we're asking is for them to be held accountable when things like this go down. And the best way to do that is to hit 'em in their pocketbooks.
Perhaps if these guys were faced with losing half their stock options, or their new 400ft. custom racing schooner, they would do a bit more during a security breach than simply respond with "We encourage all our users to seriously think before clicking on a link."