DailyPost 938


The tech companies had their own life and area of direct influence from Shell to Ford to Mitsubishi to Sony, of all sectors; iron & steel, automobiles, oil & natural gas etc, their transparency was not the concern of the ordinary every citizen. With the onset of the digital world the hardware and software companies also did not pose any challenge of this nature. Then came the new age digital age companies, the convergence of all technologies to date and of communication mediums, managing all utilities one needs in the brand ambassadors of mankind – the Apple,Google, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft and the like.

They promised computation on finger tips, mobility, transparency, unsurpassed knowledge / data, level playing field, true democratisation, asset control, privacy etc. They offered a different mindset of business companies, way beyond conventional business mindset, to transform the world. What seems to be happening it totally the opposite. A small town in South Wales voted 62% in favour of BREXIT, might be the highest in the whole referendum, after witnessing the town transform out of European Union funds and its efforts. The town had only one foreigner. Delving deep into it after a year of investigative journalism, Facebook was found to be the culprit. Targeted ads on an ignorant population about migrants / Turkey joining EU / connected falsehood.

First online age referendum, nobody could fathom out the depth of impact, it was a digitally invasive psychological subversion of democracy. The content pushed in could be seen only by the user and impacted. The research showed nearly all content in Facebook newsfeed / posts were fake. Hate & Fear. No archive to research now. No one knows the funding and inner machinations. It does not breach any law. Digital Age Laws. The parliament could not get Mark Zuckerberg to appear before it, leave aside taking him to task. Repeat US elections 2106, still struggling with the opaqueness. The APT 32 attacks, nobody knows the story.

The uniquely opaque iPhone 5 of the San Bernardino case, the use of Telegram for Paris attacks few years back. COMPAS software used by the US judiciary has been challenged for its business logic. Black Box Algorithms from credit worthiness to predictive policing. The collection and use of data remains unknown even in the age GDPR. Liberal Democracy is broken and Tech Companies are above the law.


Sanjay Sahay

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