Facebook, Amazon, and Google are currently facing the biggest challenges in Europe concerning their business model. European leaders and regulators are investigating these companies for copyright issues, third party data, and economic competition.
European Publishers are pushing hard to have their right included in the new copyrights law, and they are getting a lot of help from trade associations in Europe. However, their efforts are facing a lot counterattacks from lobbyists, who are taking sides with big tech companies who are complaining against this proposal.
In line with these issues, Germany’s Federal Cartel has been working for the last three years on an investigation concerning Facebook’s collection of personal data to see whether this data collection is effecting competition. Furthermore, the investigation will reveal new rules about data gathering from a third party and its future use.
Following the same strategy the German government launched a thorough investigation against Amazon and its double role as a retailer and a market maker. Germany is critical of this double role and is wondering whether Amazon is abusing its market power. Following the same path, the UK government declared a “safer internet day” by emphasizing tougher regulation and oversight for all tech companies.
The topic of stringent regulation and oversight is important, and it should be taken seriously – not only in Europe, but also here in the United States. While it is true that connecting with persons from all over the world in different areas of business is a good thing, that should never be at the expenses of jeopardizing the principles of privacy and ethical business rules that companies have to adhere to.
When a company such as Facebook or amazon collects personal data and sells it or uses it for its own good, that company is not providing those people (the true owners of the data) with a material benefit. It is about time to regulate these tech companies in such a way that it is more beneficial to the persons who are the true owners of the data being collected.