There’s a new regulator sheriff in town and he will watch over the technology industry better than governments. Says who? Google. Well, not so much Google’s executives as its former CEO, Eric Schmidt.
I’m not particularly keen on government regulators but they have their place in the world. Think emissions and safety standards and disease control and so on. Allowing technology companies to regulate themselves is much akin to letting the fox manage the chicken coop.
Lawmakers have a role to play in society. Make laws. Problems arise, laws often fix them. Often the fix creates more problems, hence lawmakers have steady work. The problem I see with allowing technology companies to regulate themselves should be obvious.
“Corporations are people.” People often put their interests ahead of others. We see that in politics and religion and it is no different in corporations.
The problem is if you write a rule, inevitably, you fix the solution on a specific solution, but the technology moves so quickly
And it takes time to figure out the problem before a law can be established to repair the damage. Privacy is a trending issue and seems to have an impact on policy within the political community.
Regarding his tenure at Google:
Our response has, in my view, been very strong…
Except when it was not and public outcry was required for the company to take action and prevent itself from taking too much information from users.
Facebook has a similar problem.
Today, we have all sorts of software that enforces policies of one kind or another. And people complain about the rules, but the fact of the matter is the rules are published.
How has that worked out so far?
Already there are attacks on Google, Facebook, and other technology giants for bias within software– algorithms that control what information is gather from what sources. Google was fined in the EU for nearly $1.7-billion for violating antitrust laws.
How does Facebook compare? CEO Mark Zuckerberg:
I’ve come to believe that we shouldn’t make so many important decisions about speech on our own
Maybe that response is nothing but lip service but it points to an opportunity to avoid the damage caused by self regulation.
All of these platforms that are human centric will have to have a component of them, which is…watching what the users are doing and making sure they’re consistent with their terms of service and the law