EU Fine on Google Makes Little Impactby OPINIONEXPRESS.IN July 21, 2018 0 comments
The hefty five billion dollar fine that EU imposed on Google on charges of anti-competitive practices will make little difference.
A five billion dollar fine that the European Commission imposed on Google on anti-competitive behaviour is just a drop in the ocean for the Silicon Valley giant. The technology company’s parent Alphabet announced that its annual revenues crossed $110 billion last year. Of course, Google will fight this fine, unprecedented in its scale, because of how it behaves with its mobile operating system Android. The allegations are very similar to those charged against Microsoft over two decades ago when it dominated the web browser space with Internet Explorer. Remember that? The fines and punishment hardly impacted Microsoft and the same is likely to happen to Google. But while Google has kept relatively quiet, the scandals surrounding Facebook haven’t gone away. Recently, Mark Zuckerberg said that he won’t crack down on Holocaust denying groups. This, after the Cambridge Analytica scandal where Facebook user data was compromised by a third-party. It appears that technology giants, which have disrupted traditional information sources, are not being responsible. They have allowed fake information to flourish; they have enabled hate groups like never before; and by swallowing up advertising revenue they have permanently compromised reliable information sources, such as newspapers. Yet, they have democratised information and challenged the sources of that information. But should they do more to mitigate fake news and also be more responsible with their market behaviour? Yes.
For far too long, technology has been the wild west in the name of technology and better features. Technology companies have gotten away with irresponsible behaviour. Their actions have killed competition and made many subservient to technology on the back of getting things for free. User data is the next goldmine that all sorts of technology companies and service providers want to mine. Your information and mine is up for sale, acquired without our explicit consent. There needs to be more oversight by administrators across the world. Nobody is arguing for a Chinese style leash and firewall — information should be available to everyone — but that information cannot be wrong. Companies should be allowed to thrive in this ecosystem. At the end of the day, technology should not help humankind not be something that takes over everything. Technology for technology’s sake is not the solution. The European Union’s fine on Google while admirable will do little to change the situation. Google and their services as well as Facebook are embedded in most of our lives and a fine and slap on the wrist will not change that.
Courtesy: The Pioneer