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Should we break up the Big Tech companies? Show more Show less
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Amazon, Google, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft and others are now some of the largest and most powerful corporations in world history. Their reach is global, their resources and power eclipsing all but the largest nations. With their monopolies on entire market sectors and their political impact, has Big Tech become detrimental to the public good?

The Big Tech companies need to be broken up Show more Show less

The Big Tech companies have built monopolies in their markets via underhand, anti-competitive practices. They cannot be trusted to protect sensitive data.
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Big Tech companies can't be trusted with people's data

Many incidents of improper data use, security breaches, and disregard for privacy prove that Big Tech has too much power over data.
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The Argument

The nature of the services provided by the Big Tech companies mean that these companies possess and track vast amounts of their users' private personal data. Advertising is a multi-billion dollar revenue generator for the Big Tech companies, and targeting advertisements based on user data is a critical part of the business model of Big Tech companies including Amazon, Facebook, and Google. The absence of viable alternative options to the platforms provided by Big Tech means that these companies have little incentive to take privacy seriously, despite ongoing backlash against their practices. The scale of Big Tech's dominance also affords these companies undue influence over what information people see, what products people buy, and what choices people make. Facebook received widespread condemnation following the Cambridge Analytica scandal, in which they allowed the external firm to data-mine their users and sell that data to clients including the 2016 presidential campaign of Donald Trump. Controversies like the Cambridge Analytica incident have prompted public outcry and calls for increased regulation of the data use practices and privacy policies of Big Tech. Breaking up the Big Tech companies would facilitate effective oversight and prevent any single company from controlling so much private data that they are able to exert an unchecked influence on public discourse and democratic processes.

Counter arguments

Premises

[P1] Big tech companies unethically track and utilise huge amounts of their users' data. [P2] We should break up Big Tech companies to ensure they are not able to control vast amounts of data.

Rejecting the premises

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This page was last edited on Thursday, 16 Jul 2020 at 17:42 UTC

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