Tim Berners-Lee suggests that several tech titans might need to be split up in response to some recent data breach and privacy concerns.

Chanel Holden

2018-11-09 11:35:00 Fri ET

The Internet inventor Tim Berners-Lee suggests that several tech titans might need to be split up in response to some recent data breach and privacy concerns. Tech titans from Facebook to Google have become so dominant that they may need to be broken up unless user taste changes and legal challenges reduce their clout.

Berners-Lee, the British computer scientist who invented the world wide web with no patent protection back in 1989, expresses disappointment with the current state of the Internet in response to the Cambridge Analytica scandals over personal data abuse and breach and political hatred propagation on social media platforms such as Facebook and Google. Berners-Lee suggests that there is an apparent danger of both market dominance and cultural power concentration in a small number of tech giants. Few alternative rivals balance this oligopolistic competition for better user privacy and consumer protection.

As of December 2017, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, Google, and Amazon (FAMGA) maintain astronomical stock market capitalization of $3.7 trillion, which is equal to the total GDP of Germany in the same fiscal year. Berners-Lee points out that it is important for these tech titans to break up by shifting exorbitant market power from the current oligopoly to some other medium enterprises.

 


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