TECHLASH

DailyPost 490

TECHLASH

Though this jargon was not used in the recently concluded World Economic Forum summit at Davos yet the world media is using it overtime. The sentiments have been simmering for long. IT giants Google, Facebook & Co.’s authority is being questioned, reaching mass consciousnesses. Coined by The Economist, Techlash ”describes a hypothetical backlash of omnipotent tech companies, such as Google or Facebook.” Hypothetical?

The economic clout & user base has been in their favour. They have flouted all laws to their convenience & have generally been allowed to do so. The honeymoon with the US govt / lobbyists is getting over. Four of the five most valuable publicly traded are technology companies, with a market value of $3trn. This is economic muscle in the purest form. Most of the revenues turn into profits. The tax bills are not commensurate. Hence, a large number of enemies.

Europe has not been as kind to them as the US. The raging anger is palpable. Google was fined $2.7bn in 2017, by European Commission. Various national governments have started flexing their muscles. Germany has issues with Facebook for using its position to track internet users. It’s sharing of Data between apps is another major issue.

Europe sincerely believes that these companies have made the world more unsafe. That they should not be made responsible for the content is not cutting ice any further. Negative impact cannot be ignored. World security cannot be compromised for the economic lust of these companies. Not policing the content is a major issue inclusive of extremists’ videos& revenge porn. Fake news& all sorts of propaganda are taking monstrous propotions.

Flouting anti-trust laws, doing mergers aiming at monopolies, commerce & media companies camouflaging as IT companies, being anti-competitive, the list of charges go on.

TECHLASH CAN BE THE MUCH AWAITED LEVELLER.

Sanjay Sahay

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