Tech leviathan Google has long been on the cusp of regulatory action by the U.S. government given their overwhelming size and scope.
What was once simply a search engine with a slightly goofy name has become a ubiquitous part of everyday life in America and beyond in recent years. Resembling more of a web-based operating system at this juncture, Google simply aims to fill in the gaps in our human knowledge chain in order to streamline your entire existence, often in terrifyingly invasive ways. Google apps will sync throughout a bevy of devices, adding Facebook events to your iPhone calendar, telling you whether or not your destination will be open or closed when you arrive, and even helping to remind you of when to leave for the airport based on traffic and security wait times. While all of this is certainly convenient, the overreach possibilities are staggering.
Google has recently been on the receiving end of negative attention by the European Union for their unethical search results skewing in favor of Google-linked products and services, and now at least one U.S. Senator believes that it is time for our government to take a closer look at the omnipresent brand.
“Booker’s comments were in response to general questions about Silicon Valley’s growing power, including a specific inquiry by Recode reporter Tony Romm over whether the U.S. government should and can regulate the tech behemoths more.
“’First of all: Yes. This consolidation that is happening all over our country I think is not a positive trend,’ Booker asserted, according to the Monday story. ‘These mergers, we need to begin to look at because … the understandable forces in an economy work; if there’s less competition, then prices tend to go up; if there’s less competition, worker’s salaries … tend to go down.’
“Booker not only thinks America’s regulatory agencies aren’t doing enough to ensure the largest companies don’t band together for more control. He also essentially implies that the largest firms in Silicon Valley — like Amazon, Google, Facebook, and Apple — are encroaching into monopoly status.”
Booker’s worry has certainly been shared by others in the past, as Google and Facebook specifically have been targeted by conservative rights groups for their unacceptable censorship of right wing content during the 2016 election.
As our lives become far more intertwined with the digital world, a number of never-before-seen concerns will begin to arise around companies such as Google, who seek to exponentially expand into everyday services. In the blink of an eye, a company such as Google could turn the corner into possessing unwieldy power with no previous precedent by which to prosecute them. This new front in digital warfare could arrive before we even have a chance to realize it.