Majority of Americans think tech giants need regulating


Tim Cook
Tim Cook has spoken out about how he believes tech needs regulating.
Photo: Apple

It seems that the majority of Americans agree with Tim Cook when it comes to regulating data-hungry tech giants, a new survey suggests.

Carried out by Axios, the survey suggests that 55 percent of people are concerned that the federal government isn’t doing enough to regulate large tech companies.

The report notes that, “The Cambridge Analytica scandal opened consumers’ eyes to data security and privacy concerns around how their information is being shared with other entities.” In the aftermath of that scandal, Tim Cook has spoken out about how he believes some form of regulation is in order for tech companies.

The survey may not be entirely to Apple’s liking, however. While companies which crunch up large amounts of user data are mentioned, the report also singles out instances like the alleged suppression of right-leaning voices by tech companies “led by idealistic, progressive executives.”

While Apple isn’t a social media company, it was criticized in some quarters after removing the likes of Alex Jones’ podcasts from its platforms. Apple’s move into areas like news publishing (or, at least, curating) will certainly open it up to questioning about its own political and editorial stance on certain issues.

For some, regulation means going after companies which pose a monopolistic threat. An op-ed published in today’s Guardian newspaper is titled, “Break up Facebook (and while we’re at it, Google, Apple and Amazon)” — based on the premise that all wield dangerous amounts of influence.

Ultimately, however, the Axios survey shows that people do appreciate what technology has brought them — even when they protest it. 65 percent of respondents said smartphones have made their quality of life better. Nearly two-thirds (63 percent) said that they sleep with their phone in or next to their bed. This number rise to 73 percent among millennials. 51 percent said smartphones are the hardest technology to live without.

The SurveyMonkey poll was carried out this month among 3,622 U.S. adults.

Source: Axios