Tuesday, October 30, 2018

The Size of Internet Companies in 2018

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Imagine, just for a moment, that you could go back to the early 2000s. The internet was now in full flow, smartphones were in early development and the world was becoming increasingly globalised. Could you imagine, though, that by 2018 some of the biggest companies in the world would be internet-based?

Companies such as Facebook, Twitter, Google and the like all cropped up from out of nowhere. They have established themselves as the go to brands in so many things that we do. People connect with one another on Facebook, romantically or professionally. They advertise their entire business through social media platforms like Twitter. They are found for so many reasons through search engines.

While on one hand companies like Google offer us the chance to learn something new whenever we want, are they too powerful? It would appear so.

Take, for example, the numerous data breach and privacy scandals over the last eighteen months. Numerous online giants were found to have, in effect, played fast and loose with our personal data. They offer us ‘free’ products and tools in exchange for our most valuable and precious commodity: our very identities.

Is this Orwell?

While it might be a strained trope, one can only imagine the reaction George Orwell might have to the present scenario. Marketing companies dressed up as social interaction forums, taking all of our details. Helping us to show the world what we like, where we live, what we do and how we earn.

Businesses now look to social media before anything else. You might have a 10/10 resume, but if a company can find even one slightly iffy or unprofessional social media post in your name, you could be in serious trouble. The concept of these companies essentially handing the keys to our very identities to whoever wants to have a look is something that was never truly considered.

Make no mistake: internet companies in 2018 are among the most powerful in the world. What other industry could be hauled up in front of major world governments, to discuss personal privacy invasion, only to leave with a slap on the wrist?

They hold incredible power, and must be better policed. The problem is, though, who polices these companies?

For one, they are often not situated in any location with real laws to do anything about their actions. They hold so much sway financially and politically that punishing or blacklisting any of these firms is nigh impossible. Given the immense amount of data they hold on more or less all of their users, and the incredible power they directly hand to business, where is the actual incentive to take them down?

It’s an interesting challenge; one that we seem to have absolutely no idea of how to overcome. If you look at companies like Facebook and Google and wonder how they managed to hold such influence, just look at how much data they hold: in many cases, they know more about you and I than anyone else.

And that is an extremely dangerous place to be.

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