Caveat 7.14.22
Ep 133 | 7.14.22

Could new privacy police alter views on cybersecurity?


Brian Gant: But I think the state is just trying to be proactive in a very liberal way in terms of protecting both employer and private citizen rights.

Dave Bittner: Hello, everyone, and welcome to "Caveat," the CyberWire's privacy, surveillance law and policy podcast. I'm Dave Bittner and joining me is my co-host, Ben Yelin, from the University of Maryland Center for Health and Homeland Security. Hello, Ben. 

Ben Yelin: Hello, Dave. 

Dave Bittner: On today's show, Ben explains why the Elon Musk and Twitter dispute will be resolved by a special court in Delaware. I've got the story of Google updating their spam filters to please politicians. And later in the show, Brian Gant of Maryville University on how California's new privacy police could affect views on cybersecurity. While this show covers legal topics and Ben is a lawyer, the views expressed do not constitute legal advice. For official legal advice on any of the topics we cover, please contact your attorney. 

Dave Bittner: All right, Ben, we've got some interesting stories this week. Why don't you start things off for us here? 

Ben Yelin: Sure. So my story concerns where and in which venue the Elon Musk Twitter dispute is going to be resolved. I realize that many people are not super interested in civil procedure, but I thought this is a good opportunity to explain why so many important cases involving large corporations are decided in the great state of Delaware. So for those of us... 

Dave Bittner: The blink and you miss it state. 

Ben Yelin: Exactly. For those of us who are not from Delaware, and that's most of us, we know it by the tiny stretch of I-95 between the Mid-Atlantic and the Northeast. What I have discovered through my crack research this morning is that over 1.8 million companies are headquartered in Wilmington, Del. Now, if you've ever been to Wilmington, Del., it has a nice little downtown, minor league baseball stadium. There is no way that it is actually the physical headquarters of 1.8 million corporations. 

Dave Bittner: Right. 

Ben Yelin: So why are all these companies headquartered there? The answer is because of these special courts. They are called the chancery courts of Delaware. And they are experts at resolving disputes among large corporations. These are specialty courts that are what are called courts in equity. So as opposed to a court of law which resolves a dispute really within the confines of the letter of the law, a court in equity has a little bit more flexibility and can be a little bit more creative in its resolution. They also have close to, maybe more than 400 years of experience in adjudicating disputes between companies. So they are familiar with precedent. They are familiar with the customary legal framework that involves these disputes. 

Ben Yelin: The reason companies decide to headquarter themselves in Delaware is that if they get sued - which every company has to be worried about getting sued - they want to be sued in Delaware court. And if you are a Delaware corporation, you can either be sued in the Delaware Chancery Court, or you can ask to have the case removed to the Delaware Chancery Court, which will give your corporation more certainty. Lawyers who are experts in the subject know how to deal with the six members of this chancery court. Their expertise - they are experts in this area of the law. So I think a lot of people wonder why so many corporations are headquartered in Delaware, and I thought this Elon Musk Twitter dispute is the perfect opportunity to explain the nature of that kind of bizarre phenomenon. 

Dave Bittner: Now, why has Delaware cornered the market on this, and what's in it for them as a state? 

Ben Yelin: That is a great question. So what's in it for them as a state is they get all of the tax revenue that comes with 1.8 million corporations being headquartered in the state of Delaware. It means that they can have - I believe it's either no sales tax or an extremely low sales tax because since corporations want to be headquartered there, even though the corporate tax rate is relatively low, just based on volume, they are collecting billions of dollars in tax revenue. So they can fund the things that make Delaware great - you know, the beach service - the beach buses in Rehoboth Beach and maybe the school districts, if they're feeling nice and if the kids in Delaware are lucky. But that that's what's in it for Delaware. 

Ben Yelin: In terms of the history, I mean, it's really just an accident of history. Only three or four states in the country have these chancery courts. And it's just kind of become customary as our common law has developed over the past 400 years of these cases get heard specifically in Delaware. And now it's kind of just a niche part of the state. People who aren't involved in large corporate litigation just have no idea how important the state of Delaware is to our legal landscape. And the precedent that comes from the Delaware Chancery Court for some companies is more important than any precedent that they get from the Supreme Court because they are so narrowly focused on corporate disputes in equity. So it has such incredibly strong precedential value. 

Dave Bittner: You know, this is - I have to admit, I'm pretty much completely ignorant when it comes to this. I mean, obviously, I knew that, you know, Delaware was, you know, where all the credit card companies are and all that sort of thing. You know, there's - everybody knows that. 

Ben Yelin: Right. 

Dave Bittner: But - so how does this play out in terms of, you know, state's rights versus federal rights? I mean, you said in your explanation that you have these chancery courts versus courts of law. I guess I'd never considered that there was an alternative to courts of law. Do all the other states just kind of go along with this? 

Ben Yelin: Well, they - yes. I mean, they are beholden to the holdings of the chancery court in Delaware, because that's where these disputes are resolved. And not to get into the intricacies of civil procedure, but as a defendant - so if you're a defendant corporation, you're headquartered in Delaware, then the venue for that case based on personal jurisdiction is going to be the state of Delaware. But obviously, the tangible effect of that is that's a decision that's going to be applicable across the country. I think it's more just a matter of custom that in the corporate world, decisions of the chancery court in Delaware carry enough weight that it's just - it's not really a point of question or dispute that companies are going to follow the decisions of these courts. 

Ben Yelin: Once we decided that this was going to be the venue for these disputes, then I think all parties kind of recognized that whatever the Delaware Chancery Court says, that is the venue for making these decisions. And unless there's some type of really novel case that invokes federal constitutional issues - and most corporate disputes don't involve federal issues or constitutional issues - then there's no reason for any federal court, specifically the Supreme Court, to question the institutional expertise of this chancery court, who's been doing this for 400 years. So I think it's just kind of a matter of custom. 

Ben Yelin: It's just bizarre. I mean, I imagine explaining it to somebody who landed on an alien spaceship that, you know, billion - this billion-dollar dispute, multibillion-dollar dispute, which will decide whether Elon Musk has to pay $44 billion to Twitter to go through with the purchase. Whether you think he actually ever intended to go through that purchase or not is a different question. That's always going to be resolved in this tiny state carved off the Atlantic coast in a tiny court in the small city of Dover, Del. I just - it's just a kind of bizarre quirk of our system. But it's something that I think a lot of people kind of - as you said, you know, that credit card companies are headquartered in Delaware. But people don't really know why businesses decided to be incorporated there. 

Ben Yelin: Sometimes they'll be incorporated in multiple states to kind of not put all their eggs in one basket. So if they get sued, they can try and decide the best venue for their purposes. But most corporations choose the Delaware venue because the chancery courts are seen as fair-minded. They are willing to look - as I said, look beyond the letter of the law to try and come up with creative solutions to complex problems. It's kind of like our own personal mediator. The Delaware Chancery Court is the nation's therapist/mediator for these large corporate disputes. So it's just a - kind of a weird accident of history. But I thought, you know, now that we're going to have a probably one of the most widely tracked legal cases in the tech world possibly ever, it's interesting to step back and do a background on why six people - one of six people in a funny uniform in the smallest geographical state - or the second smallest geographical state - will decide a dispute that's close to $50 billion. 

Dave Bittner: Wow. 

Ben Yelin: It's interesting, at least to me. I know some of you are probably bored by civil procedure. But I promise I'll only talk about this once. 

Dave Bittner: (Laughter) Yeah. And, I mean, do they find themselves slammed with cases because there's so many companies there? 

Ben Yelin: Yes, they are. So there are six - there's a chief judge of the chancery court. And that person assigns a court - assigns each case to one of six other judges. They have a very large caseload. Not all corporate disputes make it into one of these courts, and not all disputes that ostensibly are going to be brought in front of the chancery court actually make it to adjudication. Sometimes they're settled out of court, or sometimes there's a motion for summary judgment where you get the judge to decide the merits of the case before there's actually a hearing on the record. So, yes, they have a large caseload, but so far, it's been manageable. From what I can tell - I mean, there's no discussion about expanding the number of judges on this court. And I think they take their responsibility very seriously, and their workload reflects that responsibility. 

Dave Bittner: I'm just imagining the Chancery Court of Delaware going up against the Supreme Court in some kind of softball league. 

Ben Yelin: Yeah. It sounds like a great Disney movie... 

Ben Yelin: Right. 

Ben Yelin: ...That they made for adults where it's the ultimate David versus Goliath - the Delaware Chancery Court and the Supreme Court. Yeah. You know, given the gerontocracy of the Supreme Court, I'm not sure that the Delaware Chancery Court would fare so poorly in a softball game. 

Dave Bittner: (Laughter) Right. 

Ben Yelin: Not knowing anything about... 

Dave Bittner: That's how we decide the big issues (laughter). 

Ben Yelin: Yeah, not that I know anything about the physical capabilities or really even the age breakdown of the judges on the Delaware Chancery Court. But, yeah, that would be fun, to see that happen. 

Dave Bittner: All right. Well, it's an interesting little bit of background there. 

Ben Yelin: Hopefully, this is a very special episode for those of our listeners from the great state of Delaware. 

Dave Bittner: No, it's good. It's good. I'm planning on vacationing in Delaware later this summer. So, as you said, they have lovely beaches, and people there are very nice - and also, tax-free liquor stores. So there you go (laughter). 

Ben Yelin: And believe it or not, I am also going to be vacationing in Delaware. And we were not paid to say this. So they really do have great beaches... 

Dave Bittner: They really do. 

Ben Yelin: ...And yeah, tax-free liquor. You can't beat that. 

Dave Bittner: No, no. All right. Well, we will have a link to a story from The New York Times on this topic covering the Elon Musk Twitter debacle. Can I call it a debacle? 

Ben Yelin: Yeah. We can definitely call it a debacle. That might be too moderate of a word to describe what's going on. 

Dave Bittner: All right. Well, it's a family show, so we'll leave it there. My story this week comes from Bloomberg. This is an article written by Max Chafkin, and it's titled "Google is Going to Let Politicians Spam Your Inbox." Ben, I have to say, something that really grinds my gears is that politicians... 

Ben Yelin: Yes. 

Dave Bittner: ...Always carve themselves out of everything - right? - like, the do-not-call list - except for politicians, right? 

Ben Yelin: Yup. 

Dave Bittner: And I just think... 

Ben Yelin: We make the rules - yeah, and the rules don't apply to us. Yup. 

Dave Bittner: Right, right. I think - there ought to be a law, Ben. (Laughter) There ought to be - let's call a constitutional convention. We need to fix this right away. 

Ben Yelin: Yeah, that's what we have to do because it's not like the lawmakers are ever going to do it for us, so yeah. 

Dave Bittner: Right, right. So this article is about Google's parent company, Alphabet, which evidently is trying to get ahead of potential legislation that's coming along that could affect how they run their spam filters. And evidently, Google has been accused - through their Gmail product - of disproportionately filtering right-wing political speech - or political, I guess, ads, promotions, whatever you want to call it. 

Ben Yelin: Messaging, I guess. Yeah. 

Dave Bittner: Emails, yeah - disproportionately placing those into spam filters, that right-wing stuff ends up in spam filters more than left-wing stuff. First of all, I guess I was skeptical about that when I first heard it because it is a common - I don't know - cry in social media circles, certainly, for right-wing folks to say that they're being censored and so on, but the facts don't align with that. 

Ben Yelin: Right. 

Dave Bittner: But in this case, they actually do. There was a study that they referenced in this article that shows that - sure enough - Gmail does filter more right-wing stuff to the spam folder than it does left-wing stuff. And interestingly, some of the other email providers - I believe they reference Outlook and Yahoo Mail - do the opposite. 

Ben Yelin: Interesting. 

Dave Bittner: Which - yeah, which is interesting. They try - they speculate that that may be because Gmail in general has a younger user base than Outlook and Yahoo do. And so if their users are telling them this is spam, this is spam, this is spam - that the younger users may have more of a liberal bias than the older ones would, and so their algorithms are being fed this information that says, hey, this is spam, and that right-wing messages might be getting that more than left-wing from the younger users. 

Ben Yelin: And let's be honest, you and I spend much of our day marking, this is spam, on political fundraising emails. 

Dave Bittner: (Laughter). 

Ben Yelin: At least I do. I'll speak for myself. 

Dave Bittner: OK. Well, you know, I find that this stuff - I see very little spam, and I have to credit a friend of mine who goes by the name RayRedacted on Twitter, a well-known information security guy. He unlocked a little secret trick for me, and that is create a folder in your email account that filters for the word unsubscribe. 

Ben Yelin: Funny story about that. 

Dave Bittner: Yeah (laughter). 

Ben Yelin: I saw the same life hack. I did that. Then one time I was supposed to make plans with my in-laws, and there was a whole Facebook message exchange that I was not privy to because there was an - there was - the word unsubscribed was mentioned somewhere in that email exchange - so just a little warning shot, but generally, that is a very strong practice. 

Dave Bittner: Yes, yes. Well, with great power comes great responsibility so... 

Ben Yelin: Exactly. 

Dave Bittner: ...Use that at your own risk. But I've found that it really helps clear out my inbox, and then I just have to take the time to, you know, visit it every now and then, or clear it out or whatever. So - but what's interesting - so getting back to this article, the - it seems as though there is some legislation that this article says really has no chance of passing - some bipartisan legislation - but that Google is sort of trying to get ahead of this, thinking that should Republicans take control of Congress, that they may come after them more aggressively once they have that power. And so Google is basically saying during political season, we're going to dial back the amount of spam filtering we do with political messaging. What do you make of this, Ben? 

Ben Yelin: So a couple of important things to note here. The first is the market share. Google has 1.5 billion monthly users. That is a rather large proportion of people on planet Earth. So I think this policy carries extra weight just because of - so many of us use Gmail as an email platform. The other thing is - I think from a 30,000-foot perspective, all political fundraising emails, in my mind, these days are very spammy. I mean, it's, Ben, I need your help to defeat so-and-so. Chip in an extra five or $10 today - you know, today. 

Dave Bittner: Right, right. 

Ben Yelin: You will get a special red-carpet status to the next such-and-such rally. I don't know why conservative messages are more prone to get caught up in the spam filter. My educated guess is that a lot of the conservative ecosystem revolves around President Trump and his fundraising organization, and they have a lot of promotions that strike me as kind of scammy. Like, be part of the Super MAGA Patriot Club, and be, like, a diamond gold member, and you'll win a, you know, all-expenses-paid trip to have dinner with Donald Trump Jr. in Las Vegas or whatever. 

Dave Bittner: Right. 

Ben Yelin: In a world where so many emails qualify as spam, maybe that's something that distinguishes itself in terms of whatever algorithm Gmail uses to categorize something as spam. The other solution, which I think is maybe a little bit more innocuous, is the one that you presented, which - with a younger base of users, people are just declaring more Republican conservative fundraising emails as spam, and Google starts to learn to put those in the spam folder. What's weird about this entire story to me is that Google is purposefully making the user experience worse, in my view, to head off a potential political dispute. And I understand it from their perspective. Republicans are very likely to gain control of Congress, and Google does not want to be regulated by the federal government through Congress. But by doing this, I mean, I would guess that maybe 90, 95% of users would prefer to have more political fundraising emails qualify as spam rather than fewer. So it's just to me kind of a bizarre situation we're in, where trying to head off a political controversy supersedes the interests of the 1.7 billion people who use the platform. It just kind of makes the whole thing a little bit curious. 

Dave Bittner: Yeah, yeah. It's just yucky. The whole thing's just yucky, you know? And it gets back to what I said at the outset, you know? This is, in a way, the politicians, you know, carving stuff out for themselves. In this case, it's the politicians, you know, complaining, using their threat of - you know, of implementing regulation on Google as a way to get their messaging through. 

Ben Yelin: Yeah. I mean, in that perspective, it's kind of corrupt, the fact that, like, it's really only protecting the very narrow interests of politicians and political fundraisers, and they are getting their way from a policy perspective against what I guess - I don't have hard data on this, but I would guess - is the preference of the vast majority of users who would rather get no fundraising emails. So yeah, I mean, even threatening to have this carve-out for themselves, it is really Congress removing them, kind of inserting themselves into the arena to assert their own interests against the interests of the vast majority of consumers. Now, Google, you know, does not have to go along with this. And I think the fact that they are says volumes about how worried they are about being regulated and that they are still, and to a rather large extent, beholden to the whims of politicians. 

Dave Bittner: Yeah. 

Ben Yelin: They really worry about what politicians are going to do and say to them. And that creates this kind of power dynamic that is generally not advantageous for people like you and me. 

Dave Bittner: Yeah. Well, we are hot and heavy into - some of my friends call it silly season, election season, here in our locality. I was driving by one of the schools recently, and the entrance to the school, which is where we have our elections - it was just covered with political signs, just comically so. 

Ben Yelin: Oh, yeah. And I get phone calls from - you know, this is so-and-so from such-and-such committee. 

Dave Bittner: Yeah. 

Ben Yelin: It's - it gets... 

Dave Bittner: I wish there were... 

Ben Yelin: ...Overwhelming. 

Dave Bittner: ...I wish there were a spam filter for sign wavers. 

Ben Yelin: Oh, my gosh, yes. 

Dave Bittner: ...Like, a real-world spam filter for sign wavers 'cause I think they're dangerous... 

Ben Yelin: Just have them blotted out. 

Dave Bittner: ...On the side of the road. 

Ben Yelin: Have your glasses blot them out... 

Dave Bittner: Yeah, right. 

Ben Yelin: ...When they're standing on the side of the road, yeah. 

Dave Bittner: Right. Maybe if we get - when we get our augmented reality glasses, they'll be able to automatically paint out, you know, sign wavers in real time. 

Ben Yelin: Now that is a billion... 

Dave Bittner: There's a million dollar idea. 

Ben Yelin: Exactly, that's what I was going to say. 

Dave Bittner: Get on that. 

Ben Yelin: Don't get too big for this little podcast because you... 

Dave Bittner: Yeah. 

Ben Yelin: ...Might make millions. 

Dave Bittner: There you go. There you go. All right. Well, we will have links to all of our stories in the show notes. And, of course, we would love to hear from you, if you have a story that you would like us to consider for the show. You can email us. It's 

Dave Bittner: Ben, I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Brian Gant. He is from Maryville University. And we were talking about how some of California's privacy regulations could affect views on cybersecurity. Here's my conversation with Dr. Brian Gant. 

Brian Gant: California seems to always kind of be the leader in terms of, you know, going after certain rights to protect, you know, households or data or privacy. We have the investigation, you know, with the iPhone. I forget what year it was, and - between Apple and whether or not privacy was being invoked about going through, you know, the lock code and getting into that phone. I think that just kind of steamrolled into they were or they weren't to create this protection law, the CCPA, to basically protect the data privacy of individuals and basically talk about how they can - they don't have to necessarily share their information within their household with a particular consumer. I think from a law enforcement perspective, you know, we always look at exigent circumstances and whether or not, you know, information, private information will help out the public or help out in terms of stopping loss of life or things of that nature. But I think the state is just trying to be proactive in a very liberal way in terms of protecting both the employer and private citizen rights. 

Dave Bittner: Well, let's talk about the Privacy Protection Agency itself. I mean, what is your understanding of what this agency's charge is? What are they responsible for doing? 

Brian Gant: My understanding is that they're responsible, just from a governance perspective, to make sure individuals are not being abused, you know, whether that be from an employee - employer standpoint or from a criminal justice law enforcement standpoint as well. 

Dave Bittner: And to what degree will their reach extend beyond California's borders? 

Brian Gant: That, I'm not aware of. And to be quite honest, I don't believe their reach can extend beyond their borders. So I'm not privy to - I haven't read in detail, you know, their - the breakdown of their Constitution or bylaws. But, you know, as a state entity, I'm pretty sure that they have to stay within the boundaries of the California. 

Dave Bittner: And in terms of, you know, for consumers within California itself, what sort of privacy enhancements could they expect here? I mean, what sort of things could they come to the agency to assist them with? 

Brian Gant: You know, privacy laws affect so many different avenues, right? You know, anything dealing with marketing, sales, purchasing, anything dealing with security or information technology - all of those things kind of fall within the umbrella of privacy and big data. So a consumer - if they truly had a concern that this particular privacy act was violated, all of those things kind of fall within that jurisdiction. 

Dave Bittner: You know, you mentioned that California really tends to take the lead on these sorts of things. Do you expect that this is something we're going to see rolling across the nation, you know, state by state or - with the federal government not really being able to get much done, do you expect that this is something we'll see spreading across the nation? 

Brian Gant: I do expect a few other states kind of to follow suit. I think they're kind of giving California a little leeway to see how things kind of play out. But, you know, typically states like Washington, some of the Northeastern states, and also maybe - and maybe some of your Midwestern states like Illinois typically kind of follow lock and step with California in some of their laws. So I can definitely see this expanding out a little bit with, of course, you know, little tweaks here and there for your own respective state. 

Dave Bittner: Has there been much pushback on this? I mean, you know, California overall, I think, as you mentioned, you know, tends to lead in sort of a liberal way. But I could imagine criticism from folks who might see this as being a bit of an overreach - pro-business people who, you know, don't want to have too many regulations. 

Brian Gant: Yeah, absolutely. And that's where I think - that's why I said I don't necessarily think this will be something that catches fire and that a lot of the - you know, the majority of the states will be adopting. You have some states who are very, very conservative, some states who are very, very pro-law enforcement. We have a lot of the events, some of the tragic events that are happening around us right now. And they can speak to specific use cases where private data on a particular individual has helped intimately with a particular case, as an example. And showing how, you know, looking at somebody's online footprint, as an example, has allowed, you know, someone to forecast something that could have possibly tragically happened, you know, whether it be domestic terrorism or what have you. And so, you know, it's a gray area, obviously. California has chose to err on the side of the private citizen, which is not surprising at all. 

Dave Bittner: You know, I'm curious - from your point of view, as a professor, as you're working with your students, what part does privacy play in, you know, the lessons that you're teaching them about cybersecurity, you know, computer science, all those kinds of things? What place does it take? 

Brian Gant: Privacy plays a big role, you know, and I use privacy in a variety of different settings, whether it's talking about, you know, cyber or criminal law or whether it's talking about mobile security, you know, things of that nature. And I try to explain to them that there is no one answer to how you should view privacy. Privacy is a personal thing. Now, what you do have to think about and which you do have to discuss is if you work for a private organization, you have to decide on whether or not - just where the line is drawn with your privacy. If that organization issues you a BYOD, you know, a take-home cell phone device, and instead of you use - instead of using your own personal device, you have to be OK with it. All right. Or if you want to use your personal device for, you know, work, email and things of that nature, you have to be OK with that. Is it supposed to be segmented off? Yes, it's supposed to be. Can things happen to where maybe some data accidentally spills over into a section of the phone which is controlled by the corporation? Absolutely. And so these are things that you have to consider before you make those decisions to sign on the dotted line, whether it be for a federal agency or a private organization. And you have to be OK with it. 

Dave Bittner: And in your experience, I mean, for - again, you know, thinking of your students, the college-aged generation who's coming up today, what is their - in your experience, what is their attitude towards privacy? And does it differ from, you know, older folks like me? 

Brian Gant: You know, Dave, it's kind of surprising. I think one would think that a student in this day and age would be all for privacy - right? - all for privacy, all for Big Brother not overreaching and not overlooking. But surprisingly, most of my students are very practical in understanding the way things are these days. They're very realistic in understanding that even when you say your Instagram is in private mode, once you put your information on the internet, there is no such thing as privacy, right? Cell phones, third-party adware, you know - when you discuss going to Home Depot, talking to your mother, and all of a sudden start popping up on your phone when you get off. You know, all of these things try to emulate behavior and buying patterns, and it is all around us. And so I think they're very, very - they have a very, very practical sense about it, more so than what you probably would think. 

Dave Bittner: Are you optimistic, you know, for our future here as you think about some of the things that are being put in place? You know, we're - we have, you know, California putting this agency in place, and, you know, you're working with your students every day. Do you feel as though we're heading in the right direction? 

Brian Gant: You know, I do. I do feel as though there are enough agencies and groups out there to where, you know, we won't - and I'll show my age here - we won't turn into the movie "Enemy of the State," right? We won't have overarching satellites watching every move that we do. And we will have, you know, some form of privacy. But we also are embracing, you know, of technology and efficiency and doing things in a manner that will help us out, you know, as we move forward in so many different industries and so many different veins. And so I'm hopeful that we can keep a steady pace and not necessarily alienate the trust of, you know, citizens to where - you get to the point where, you know, technology is viewed as, you know, the big bad wolf instead of something that is here to assist and help out. 

Dave Bittner: Ben, what do you think? 

Ben Yelin: Really interesting conversation - I mean, the most important question that you ask is, is this something that's going to filter into other states? As he mentioned, California is always kind of the leader in these types of efforts, whether it's CCPA itself or whether it's the kind of tech police he's referencing in this interview. And sometimes that does filter down to other states. Oftentimes it doesn't. I think there's something unique about California's political culture, the way its legislature works and the way all these companies are Silicon Valley companies that makes California unique. And I just don't think there's going to be a desire in many other states to have this type of oversight body just 'cause I think it could be an invasion on individual liberties, even in an ostensible effort to protect personal privacy. And also it might eliminate some of the conveniences that people say they don't like about the internet or online interactions, but that they actually like and value. 

Dave Bittner: Yeah. All right. Well, again, our thanks to Dr. Brian Gant. He is from Maryville University. We do appreciate him taking the time. 

Dave Bittner: That is our show. We want to thank all of you for listening. The "Caveat" podcast is proudly produced in Maryland at the startup studios of DataTribe, where they're co-building the next generation of cybersecurity teams and technologies. Our senior producer is Jennifer Eiben. Our executive editor is Peter Kilpe. I'm Dave Bittner. 

Ben Yelin: And I'm Ben Yelin. 

Dave Bittner: Thanks for listening.