The Debate

Digital reckoning: EU regulators move to tame Big Tech


Has Silicon Valley met its match? The European Commission has unveiled its double-barrelled blueprint for reining in the unchecked power of Big Tech. We ask about draft bills to regulate free speech online and the use of our personal data.


Is it too much or not enough, what with the Googles, Amazons, Facebooks, Apples and Microsofts crushing all competitors and effectively owning the internet? It’s not just Europe: on Monday, US federal regulators gave some of the biggest tech giants 45 days to fork over relevant information to see if they are abusing their dominant position. Should that also extend to the secret sauce: the algorithms used to target citizens and even manipulate them?

2020 has been the year when disinformation fuelled a bogus assault on the result of a US presidential election, where a pandemic drove a digital acceleration that made the big bigger and drove smaller competitors – online and off – to the brink. Is this now a turning point?

Produced by Andrew Hilliar, Juliette Laurain and Imen Mellaz.

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