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Why regulating Google and Facebook would be wrong… and dangerous

mai 16, 2017

Salvador Baille

On May 6th The Economist published an articles with the suggestive title «The world’s most valuable resource is no longer oil, but data».  The article explains an old mantra: A handful of companies – Google, Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft… – are accumulating extreme wealth by means of the data they get from the users of their products.

The novelty resides, however, in the argumentation of the article. The newspaper defends the need of limiting the hegemony of those internet giants over the data they have worked so hard to access, analyze, refine and utilize. The Economist argues that those very companies should therefore be regulated. Two possibilities are proposed:

  • The break up of the internet giants into smaller companies (mini Googles, mini Facebooks, mini Amazons etc.). Here the precedent is the break up of Standard Oil (and for us that have IT and Telecom at heart, AT&T)
  • To force those companies to open their vaults and…

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