Silicon Valley is full of firms that are tracking our movements and recording our contacts today. This is how Google and Facebook make a living, and they’re going to keep on doing it whether their datasets and computer power are used to sell ads or to protect public health.
So we have a number of issues that may or may not be lawful but are pretty clearly unfair and anti-competitive. What’s Congress going to do about platform power and competition? This question remains to be answered, but the podcast suggests a good way for it to start.
None of the proposals for ISP regulation or platform regulation currently in the mix are very good. If the Internet is good for anything, it’s a great disruptor. Is is too much to ask it to disrupt its own policy frameworks toward the goal of producing more of the good and less of the bad?
Enjoying the benefits of ICT and the Information Age requires us to adopt new models of regulation that are fit for the task. For this to happen, we’ll need to stop demonizing every new invention for the sake of eyeballs, audience, and ad revenues.
Finding sponsors to carry the bill may be troublesome before the mid-term, but a legitimate work product will be useful whenever Congress is of a mind to consider legislating. We may actually be closer to legitimate, regular Congressional action on Internet regulation than we’ve been since the summer of 2010.
Their problem in the long tail of pirates, scammers, and amateurs who impose costs on the platform but don’t generate revenue. That’s a business model issue that should concern Alphabet. It’s not an excuse for making artists pay for YouTube’s content-related costs out of their own pockets to support piracy.
At a minimum, Facebook needs to reorganize the company in such a way that a single CEO can exercise effective control over its major pieces. An Alphabet-like reshuffling with a new level of management would at least signal seriousness about improvement.