Self-regulation does not always work. If someone finds an exploit then not using the exploit becomes a competitive disadvantage, and there is nothing inherently ethical about having all of your workforce go on unemployment.  As finance markets have shown us, ethical self-regulation will not occur, and as Cathy O'Neil at MathBabe shows, that is unlikely in the world of Big Data either.

I mean, companies publish their privacy policies right there for anyone to read, and about 99.9% of people just accept and click on through. And Big Data likes it that way, at least so far. They are paying lobbyists to keep regulation out.  I am all for putting the brakes on hyper-aggressive militants who over-regulate without evidence (EPA, everyone being paid off by Greenpeace and Union of Concerned Scientists, etc.) but the idea that some libertarian wonderland is possible is just silly. No standards are as bad as too many. 

There is no “market solution” for ethics - Cathy O'Neill,