“Facebook and Big Tech are facing a Big Tobacco moment,” Senator Richard Blumenthal, Democrat of Connecticut, said this week when a whistle-blower testified about how the social media company’s products harmed teenagers.
“I think that that’s an appropriate analogy,” Senator Cynthia Lummis, Republican of Wyoming, added later.
The whistle-blower’s testimony, and the thousands of internal documents she shared with lawmakers, generated unusual bipartisan bonhomie in a divided Washington. Senators said it was time for Congress to coalesce around new regulations to rein in the company and perhaps the technology industry as a whole.
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Big Tech: sector’s ever-increasing dominance leads to tough regulatory questions
For the huge companies dominating the fields of e-commerce, social media and online search and advertising – ‘Big Tech’ – the Covid-19 pandemic has brought a significant increase in profits and power. This in turn has consequences for society and the regulation of Big Tech.
Today, the sheer power and domination of Big Tech is at a level which may not have been anticipated, and it is expected to rise unimaginably at every level – revenue, market, politics and infrastructure,’ says Sajai Singh, Chair of the IBA Technology Law Committee and co-chair of the Corporate Practice at J. Sagar Associates in Bengaluru.