CEOs of US Amazon, Facebook, Google and Apple, the giants of the global technology market, testified to the US Congress on July 29 regarding allegations of monopolization and monopolization in the US market.
In his speech, Democrat David Cicilline, Chairman of the Congressional Commission, cited historical examples and said that American democracy has always been "at war" with monopoly power. In this context, according to Cicilline, the USA has taken action to prevent private companies from controlling the American economy and democracy. As can be understood from this statement, taking the testimony of the US digital giants before the senate is also seen within the same scope. My personal assessment of the issue, this expression process itself, and how it is done publicly, is both a sign of self-confidence and an implicit challenge. All in all, I would like to point out that it is an admirable process.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg called the tech industry "an American success story," but according to Cicilline, these four giants have a lot of power, and that power eliminates forms of competition, creativity and innovation.
What is the source of the power of US companies with which the US Congress is in a "struggle" or in its appearance? As Republican Jim Sensenbrenner has made clear, the technology market is based on data; the market is managed by those who have the data. So "whoever controls data controls the market."
While their data provides technology giants with the opportunity to directly influence the USA, this situation also makes it necessary to ask new questions.
In line with Sensenbrenner's statement, we can list the questions as follows:
“(1) Who is the owner of the data?
(2) What is the responsibility of companies to share this (data) with their customers or competitors?
(3) What is the fair market value of these data?
(4) Is there anything monopolistic in obtaining these data?
(5) How about monetizing (monetizing) this data? "
The answers to these crucial questions are not clear for the US or the global market. This state of uncertainty was clearly observed in the statements of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. Indeed, after Democrat Pramila Jayapal asked Bezos whether Amazon had access to sellers' data while making its decisions, Bezos said he could not answer this question as yes or no. Accordingly, Bezos stated that although it has a policy not to use vendor data, it cannot guarantee that this policy has never been violated.
Democrat Val Demings stated that Google sells behavioral ads and asked Google CEO Sundar Pichai whether the company earned more revenue as the amount of user data collected increased. Pichai claimed that this was not true in general. According to Pichai, most of the data collected by Google is helpful and offers personalized experiences.
It should not be forgotten that in recent years, the EU has imposed sanctions on companies such as Google, Apple and Facebook, mostly due to their policies and attitudes towards anti-competitive action. What we need to keep in mind is the fact that these companies, which have now become part of our lives and even business processes, have their own interests and that they have reached a worrying power even for their own countries.
The clarification of the answers to the above questions regarding the data is also extremely valuable in the interests of countries outside the USA and citizens of different countries. It is an important necessity that these questions directed to CEOs in the USA, the home country of technology giants, become questionable in our country, which is only a market at the moment.
When data is processed, it is information. Knowledge is money, power. The amount of abundant, diverse and qualified knowledge is great power, that is, power. At the moment, the power of the US digital technology giants worries even the US senators, while our indifference and silence is historically a heavy responsibility. We need much more discussion and questioning on rational and academic grounds, not in the context of domestic politics, but in the context of the national market, national security, and the obligation to protect its citizens from danger they are unaware of.