Monday, September 17, 2018

Tech majors as utilities?

There is a thought developing among many of varying political persuasions that the major technology companies are too powerful, and have too much information.  Those focused on include Google, Facebook, Apple, Amazon, and Twitter, but names like Netflix and Adobe would probably fall into this net as well, others could.

It is clear that most of these companies are more efficient and at the least as effective at information management than the government.  Should they be regulated as utilities?  Possibly around the edges and subject to some ground rules would be the thought here, but a coterie of those on both the political right and left are now beginning to look for something more stringent.  The need for competitive markets is a concern in various areas of retail business and the manipulation of information for political purposes is another.  Another not at all trivial issue is whether the social networks have been engineered to create addictive behavior that leads to more information in their hands for advertising purposes, and  leads to unproductive use of time by all ages that could otherwise be spent productively, hey even on first hand relationships with other people.  These are legitimate areas to focus on, but regulation done right would be best if not punitive.  This situation evolved due to a vibrant private sector that encouraged innovation, independent of stodgy government oversight.

The danger now is that we are in the age of Trump.  How can any transition to some regulatory guidelines be managed in a way that does not further the censorship aims and overreach of this President?  Well meaning advocates of regulation could be exploited by his minions looking for power and more.  How this plays out is an important issue.  No big insight here, more to come...


Post a Comment

<< Home