Trust in Tech Today
Lately, we’ve been hearing a lot about TRUST. Whether you are trusting health officials, the weatherman when they say it won’t rain, or you are trusting giant companies with the most valuable thing you have — your data. Trust plays a huge role in your everyday life, whether you realize it or not. This just might have you questioning if you feel comfortable having trust in tech companies today.
Your Data = Priceless
Back in the good ole days, oil was the reigning champ when it came to the highest revenue producing industry. Over the past decade, however, there has been a shift to – you guessed it – data. Specifically, your data; the ‘average’ consumer, whatever that means anymore.
Based on Forbes list of the most valuable brands in 2020, the top 5 were all tech companies. Valuable brands have a lot of valuable assets. Their assets include loads and loads of data. YOUR data.
I’m sure you heard about the Antitrust hearing with Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google that happened in July of last year. If you’re living under a rock and didn’t hear about it – Congress threw over 200 questions at the big four CEO’s – Tim Cook (Apple), Jeff Besos (Amazon), Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook) and Sundar Pichai (Google). The purpose was to discover whether or not these companies are violating Antitrust laws. Laws that are designed to keep free and open competition and prevent one company (or person) from getting too big and too powerful. Most questions focused around the tech giants’ previous actions and how those did not align with antitrust laws. That included forceful acquisitions (like Amazon shutting down shops when they wouldn’t sellout to Amazon). It also covered filtered results (like when Google decides what you see on your search results page). If you have an extra 6.5 hours to spare, you can watch the full hearing here.
This was one of several lawsuits that emerged and brought to light some slightly uncomfortable information. Google currently finds themselves in the middle of three antitrust lawsuits. From unfair and non-competition friendly deals to absurd self-promotion, they are under attack. But don’t worry, this likely won’t even go to trial until 2023 so they have a couple more years to do all the shady stuff they want.
Civil Tech War?
Sadly, it’s even getting to the point where these tech companies are turning on each other. In December, Facebook stood up to Apple as some of their privacy changes could affect the small businesses that advertise on Facebook. It’s crazy to think, but even these massive companies can impact each other with the decisions they make in their own organizations. They aren’t totally untouchable.
Moral of the Story
They are getting too big. This leaves consumers and partners with no other option but to bow down and give up. Sure, it’s all just business and the companies claim to have good intentions, but it does make you (hopefully) stop and think about what you are giving to these companies, among others.
It continues to amaze me at how some people give out their private, personal information so willy nilly. Of course, none of us actually read the 47 pages of terms and conditions, but we at least scroll a couple times to show some effort.
Me myself, I was a preeeeetty gracious truster. I had found myself not even thinking twice about trusting this person or that organization, and I was doing so without a good reason. Since then I have shifted my mindset, not to be a cynical pessimist, but more so to realize it’s okay to question things and find legitimate answers rather than just say ‘I Agree’.
That just might be the key in trust. It’s not really about trusting others, it’s trusting your own opinion of others and the belief that you can or cannot trust them.
Trust me on this one.
All the best,