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Big Tech – The Biggest Data Hogs

 

In politics and policy, as in all things – size matters.

Small numbers – are smaller than big numbers.

To wit: Fake Indian and Democrat Senator/presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren – just received an endorsement for her effort to garner a promotion.

Warren Campaign Wins the Endorsement of Black Womxn For:

“On Thursday, she snagged an endorsement from a group of 10 black women and gender-nonconforming activists.”

To which Warren responded – via Twitter, natch:

“Thank you, @BlackWomxnFor! Black trans and cis women, gender-nonconforming, and nonbinary people are the backbone of our democracy and I don’t take this endorsement lightly. I’m committed to fighting alongside you for the big, structural change our country needs.”

Ummm… “Black trans and cis women, gender-nonconforming, and nonbinary people”…are NOT “the backbone of our democracy.”  Any more or less than anyone else is.  Unless you’re racist and sexist.

And if this small collection of the citizenry are “the backbone of our democracy” – it explains why our body democracy is collapsing in a heap.

Because this Warren-endorsing group – (allegedly) represents less than 15% of the population.  And relying on 15% to be “backbone” of the other 85% – is really bad structural math.

Get thee to a chiropractor – stat.

Small numbers – are smaller than large numbers.

And so it is in the realm of online data collection.

Almost all Internet participant companies collect data – but some collect WAY more data than others.

And as We the People finally awaken to the massive wealth and power our data represents – the biggest data collectors are looking to distract from the fact that they are the biggest data collectors.  And look to get even more policy cronyism from government.

The biggest of big data collectors – are the Big Tech companies.  The likes of Google and Facebook chief amongst them.

We the Data Providers – are finally asking the vital Internet data question:

“Google and Facebook are each worth almost a TRILLION dollars.  How – if they give everything away for free?”

Of course, the answer is:

If Something on the Internet Is Free – You’re the Product

The more you use Big Tech’s “free” stuff – the more data on you they collect.  To which they then sell access to all sorts of advertisers.

Big Tech announces their data mining – in their tiny-font-multiple-page-disclaimers you never read…but to which you click “Yes” or “I agree” anyway.

I know, I know: Caveat emptor…”Let the buyer beware.”  You chose to use their services – on their terms.  But as on very many things – Big Tech is pushing the envelopes and testing the premises of an utterly unfettered free market.

As we race to catch up to the Big Tech moguls in understanding our data and its value – bringing up the rear is, as always, government.

Because government is always slower than everyone on everything.

As government struggles to grasp these concepts – they of course get lobbied by the sector participants.

Big Tech are its biggest participants – and they are its biggest government lobbyists.

Forget Wall Street – Silicon Valley Is the New Political Power in Washington

And is their wont – Big Tech isn’t lobbying for equal treatment by government.  Big Tech is lobbying for even more government cronyism.

Big Tech is lobbying to basically be left alone to mass collect data.  While lobbying to have its relatively microscopic data-collection-competitors – be mass-regulated by government.

Of particular government-side-stepping interest to Big Tech – are the Internet Service Providers (ISPs).

You know, the relatively tiny likes of Verizon and Comcast – the companies that built the roads upon which Big Tech travels.

Google: Market Cap – $895 billion.

Facebook: Market Cap – $541 billion.

 

Verizon: Market Cap – $245 billion.

Comcast: Market Cap – $207 billion.

ISPs – are the companies that made possible Big Tech’s obscene data collection – and the attending obscene wealth.

Nevertheless, Big Tech loves to have government pound ISPs with regulations that benefit Big Tech.

To wit: Network Neutrality.

Amongst a great many other awful things, Net Neutrality is the government mandating that bandwidth hog Big Tech companies – don’t have to pay for ISPs for their bandwidth.  So you and I pay dramatically more for our connections – so as to allow Big Tech the world’s largest free ride.

That seems fair.

ISPs make a convenient Bad Guy for Big Tech.  Because the ISPs’ make the vast majority of their money overtly and directly: They charge you for the services they provide.

But because ISPs’ are nigh the only ones at the “free” Internet Party overtly and directly charging for their services – they inherently, incorrectly can be slapped by Big Tech with the Bad Guy rap.

ISPs do collect a little data – but it is an infinitesimal fraction of the data Big Tech collects.  ISP’s know you went to Google’s search page – and that’s it.  Google knows just about EVERYTHING you do online.

Big Tech’s Big Data Means Big Money

Silicon Valley Siphons Our Data Like Oil. But the Deepest Drilling Has Just Begun

Are You Ready? Here Is All the Data Facebook and Google Have on You

There’s No Escaping from Google Collecting Your Data or Tracking Your Location:

“If you are not using a Google device, or Google, simply due to the presence of Google’s advertising technologies, it is difficult, and almost impossible to escape the company from collecting your data.”

Of course: Big Tech is lobbying to be left alone by government – to continue to do its multi-trillion-dollar-data-collection-business.

Big Tech’s Yes Men Reassure Each Other:

“There’s a lot of money to be made protecting Google, Amazon, and Facebook’s fragile egos and robust profits. From lobbyists to academics, plenty of elites have spent the last ten years producing endless arguments that these firms’ dominance was not just appropriate, but a moral necessity and the path to the future.”

Silicon Valley-Funded Privacy Think Tanks Fight in D.C. to Unravel State-Level Consumer Privacy Protections:

“In a twist that is all too familiar in Washington, D.C., however, many of the groups that have positioned themselves as expert voices on consumer privacy are pushing for a bill that hews closely to tech industry interests.

“Lawmakers who are famously ignorant on technology issues are hearing largely from an army of industry lobbyists and experts funded by social media companies, online platforms, data brokers, advertisers, and telecommunication giants – the very same corporate interests that profit from the collection and sale of internet data.”

Again: The “telecommunications giants” – are the ISPs.  Which are, again, tiny compared to the Big Tech data vacuums.  Obviously, ISPs want less government. There’s nothing wrong with lobbying for that.

But: Big Tech is lobbying to sic government and attention on ISPs over data collection – as a distraction from their orders-of-magnitude huger data collection.

This is King Kong atop the Empire State building – demanding to be left alone.  While King Kong demands the tiny biplanes flying tinily by him – be uber-regulated.

Asking Congress to Examine the Data Practices of Internet Service Providers

This is grotesquely absurd.

The Leftist Media – is deliriously happy to run blocker for Leftist Big Tech.  Including not minding at all huge government that favors Leftist Big Tech.

Trump Officially Hands Control of Your Data to ISPs

Senate Votes to Kill Rules Meant to Protect People’s Sensitive Data from Their Internet Providers

Congress Just Voted to Let Internet Providers Sell Your Browsing History

The reason Republicans killed these bills and regulations?  Because they ONLY targeted ISPs – and left monster-data-collectors Big tech deliriously alone:

“FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, however, says the move reverses ‘privacy regulations designed to benefit one group of favored companies over another group of disfavored companies.’”

We the People like the Constitution.  Included therein is the Fourteenth Amendment – which in part reads:

“…nor shall any State…deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

Ahh…equal protection.

We’d like data collection laws – that apply equally to everyone.

Big Tech companies – quite obviously do not.