As we near the end of a decade, we can look back at where we wondered what technology would be like in the future and compare it to what really happened. The constant drive for innovating technology surrounding entertainment, the cloud, data privacy, fake news, transportation, and much else has both provided us with convenient services and products that we appreciate, but also brings conflict and controversy when such large companies hold so much power.
The Top News Tech Stories 2019:
The biggest players in the tech industry have grown significantly, but their controversies haven’t changed since 2010. Facebook’s privacy issues have existed since its inception with Mark Zuckerberg hacking his school’s network to compare the attractiveness of students’ photos and 10 years later, his site’s privacy issues have become global political issues.
Fake News 2019
Since the 2016 presidential elections, the term “fake news” was perpetually used as a red herring when it came to political scandals. As the news began to become more and more accessible on the Internet, misinformation spread tenfold to conjure rumors and doubt in global news.
Facebook played a significant role in this controversy in October 2019 when Zuckerberg sat before Congress to discuss the platform’s role in spreading fake news. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez questioned Zuckerberg whether it was possible for a political party to target specific area codes and advertise the wrong election date as an act of voter suppression. He stumbled around his responses during the hearing never giving a concise statement.
Other social media giants like Twitter banned all political advertisements completely in response in the spirit of freedom of expression. Coincidentally, Singapore enacted their “fake news” law and stirred controversy surrounding freedom of expression in November 2019 proving the complicated and intricate relationships Facebook has with foreign governments.
Health Monitoring Data
Google’s sister company, Alphabet, bought Fitbit for $2.1 billion dollars for both companies to collaborate in smartwatch technology to compete with the Apple Watch. More importantly, the acquisition means that Google has access to Fitbit user data. Both companies claim that users will have full freedom to control what data they share and have the option to delete their data.
Legally, however, the companies have no obligation to keep their promise to not sell customer data for commercial use. With outdated health data laws, both companies have the opportunity to use customer data in conjunction with the health industry. This data holds the potential of fueling products from the company for more revenue streams.
China Vs. The United States
Over Donald Trump’s presidency, US and China relations have been rocky with the ongoing trade war amongst the two giant world economies. Rising tariffs and stolen intellectual properties has affected major US companies including Apple, a relationship which tech experts predicted to be volatile in the beginning of 2019.
The technology industry will continue to play a political role as it advances and global tensions rise. Investors, manufacturers, and governments will fight for more control over what the general public consumes.