Rock, Paper, Scissors: Defining the Tech Cartel

Rock, Paper, Scissors: Defining the Tech Cartel

Facebook defines itself as a tech company. Google does as well. Jeff Bezos, who owns Amazon as well as the Washington Post, defines the latter as a tech company, too, which, technically, means that the once venerated news organization, by definition, should no longer be considered a news publication of record, and thanks for playing.

Can’t have it both ways,

but definitions seem to be somewhat fluid in the tech world. All depends on which way the winds are blowing.

At the Techonomy conference in New York last week, ‘extracted’ (his descriptor) former WPP Chairman Martin Sorrell said that he felt that Facebook should be categorized as a media company. The lines are definitely blurring. Sorrell also noted that Facebook and Google should be worried about the growing power of Amazon – in the ad world, in particular.

“They don’t like being referred to as ‘the duopoly’ for obvious reasons,” he said. “They still have a stranglehold. The one threat to them is Amazon. Last quarter, I saw that Amazon generated $8B in ad revenue. Amazon is the #1 threat to them…Advertising and search are the two big opportunities for Amazon.”

Bottom Line…

Forest through the trees and nothing we don’t know: these companies are above all else, not only data gathering operations, but the most powerful the world has ever witnessed and, as Sorrell noted, without any government oversight. “It’s the surveillance state. Not just you, but everyone you touch” and given the revelations about Cambridge Analytica et al, he bottom lined it with a fact that no one seems to want to report: “Facebook has lost control of the platform. And that’s really scary.”

Especially given the fact that Facebook Faces Class Action Lawsuit for Saving Text and Call Logs of Users, which is clearly overreach, and the company has long been engaged in facial recognition, which is standard practice in China. Sorrell said that Facebook moving in that direction would constitute nothing short of a national emergency.

Sorrell is already sounding the alarm and with Facebook moving ever more swiftly towards incorporating AI into the platform, time to take heed. Especially in light of the fact that consumers are now giving Amazon full access to their homes, no questions asked– an act that would otherwise require a search warrant (Amazon wants a key to your house. I did it. I regretted it), and Apple and Google are battling to control your home as well.

Webcam Cover? Anyone?

We also attended Tech Day, and stopped by a booth where the exhibitor was giving away webcam covers – which we’ve been using for years – and when we encouraged friends who were passing by to take one, (did we mention that they were free?), they didn’t see the need.

Note to self: If Mark Zuckerberg has his webcam covered at all times, think he might know something you don’t?

It is a two-way camera and with the tech cartel quickly moving towards controlling even more aspects of our lives, unchecked – and literally locking us in to their own controlled environments, time to pay attention. Covering your webcam is a good first step towards covering your, um, assets. Rock, paper, scissors – who knows who will win the keys to the kingdom in the end. Tech companies, media companies, nation-states, super-governments. Call them what you will but high time to stop behaving as if you’re living under a rock. Onward and forward.

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