Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 5th Sep 2017 11:08 UTC
Google Jon von Tetzchner, CEO of Vivalvi (and former CEO of Opera):

Recently, our Google AdWords campaigns were suspended without warning. This was the second time that I have encountered this situation. This time, however, timing spoke volumes.

I had several interviews where I voiced concerns about the data gathering and ad targeting practices - in particular, those of Google and Facebook. They collect and aggregate far too much personal information from their users. I see this as a very serious, democracy-threatening problem, as the vast targeting opportunities offered by Google and Facebook are not only good for very targeted marketing, but also for tailored propaganda. The idea of the Internet turning into a battlefield of propaganda is very far away from the ideal.

Two days after my thoughts were published in an article by Wired, we found out that all the campaigns under our Google AdWords account were suspended - without prior warning. Was this just a coincidence? Or was it deliberate, a way of sending us a message?

Large technology companies have an immense amount of control over and influence on our society, far more than they - or anyone else, for that matter - care to admit. We're way past the point where governments should step in and start to correct this dangerous situation. It's time for another breakup of the Bell System. It's time we, as society, take a long, hard look at corporations - in tech and elsewhere - and ask ourselves if we really want to be subject to the control of organisations we effectively have no democratic control over.

I'm not a proponent of nationalisation, but I am a proponent of breaking up Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, and possibly others (I'm sticking to technology for now) to severely limit their power and influence. The products and services these companies create have become too important and too vital to the functioning of our society, and they should be treated as such.

It wouldn't be the first time we, as society, decide a certain product has become too vital to leave in corporations' unrestricted hands.

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RE: 70/50 rule
by Ikshaar on Tue 5th Sep 2017 17:15 UTC in reply to "70/50 rule"
Ikshaar
Member since:
2005-07-14

You cannot create competition out of thin air. Facebook owns 100% of the Facebook market because it is just a product. Same for Apple. Only Apple sell Apple computers so it is a moot point.

Even for the online search, Google dominates because they are better than anything else. Let's not forget that Google succeeded because they had a better search algorithm than AltaVista and a cleaner webpage than Yahoo.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: 70/50 rule
by KenWD0ELQ on Tue 5th Sep 2017 19:35 in reply to "RE: 70/50 rule"
KenWD0ELQ Member since:
2017-09-05

Google doesn't need to be "broken up" like Judge Green broke up AT&T so long ago. (The issue that caused AT&T to be broken up was unauthorized handset headrests. If AT&T didn't provide it, they didn't allow ANYBODY to attach ANYTHING to a telephone.)

What's required is for the FCC to tell Google, "Either you'r a common carrier, or you're not. And you REALLY want to be a common carrier!"

A "common carrier" isn't allowed to make any decisions about the kind of traffic that they carry. Nazis, KKK, Planned Parenthood, Antifa, ISIS; if Google is a "common carrier", then they can't do ANYTHING about it. THe flip side is that if Google is NOT a common carrier, then GOOGLE IS RESPONSIBLE FOR EVERY BITE OF DATA, for every link, for every email that they send.

So every bit of child porn, every insult, any derogatory remark posted to Blogspot, EVERY offensive comment - if Google isn't a common carrier, then it's their responsibility.

Google REALLY wants to be a common carrier. But they MUST treat all data equally to qualify.

Reply Parent Score: 4