What’s equally unsettling is our government’s response. The questions that senators asked Zuckerberg during his April hearing clearly showed how little they understand about the basic workings of his company. The government has had at least 10 years to get on top of big tech companies’ exploding growth and power, but so far they’ve been allowed to act with free rein.
Sure, we the consumers bear some of the responsibility. I certainly have freely given up my data to various apps, companies and websites. And boy do I love Amazon’s suggestions – it always seem to know just what I need! Advertising isn’t coercive. I know what I’m choosing to buy, just like I know what candidate I’m choosing to vote for. I’m not being tricked in either case.
But at the same time, these companies have been allowed to run amuck, and the laws haven’t been keeping up. For the entire Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook was fined a little over $600,000. Facebook makes that in less than 8 minutes.