With the US Congress moving ahead in the direction of breaking down Facebook, Alphabet’s Google, Apple, and Amazon just like the Carnegie ventures of the 19th century, India too needs to think about the fears that walk along with the growing investments and undertakings of the these mammoth corporations in various sectors of our tech economy.
The Competition Commission of India has been loosing its teeth and the push to the foreign technology giants by means of allowing them to invest in not just the e-tailing market, but the edu-tech as well as health-tech and fin-tech markets gives them more space to manage the sub-continent suited to their profit book interests.
India is the world’s second largest population consuming the internet services and telecommunication devices. India, is the single largest market for all the companies mentioned above as well as the ones that aren’t mentioned in the list above. Most of our tech products are imported and we don’t manufacture much at all.
The Indian Government has also had tough times in trying to tame the tech giants on storing their data locally, and the tech giants offer sops to buy more freedom to generate revenues for itself. The privacy laws and the data protection regime as well as taxation matters pertaining to the revenues generated over the web remain a problem for the Indian government.
Facebook has partnered up with the CBSE to introduce AR in education and there shall more such investments in the upcoming years. Amazon is supposedly groping in local producers to sell on its platform and their penetration just gets deeper by the day.
With not enough regulatory checks and balances in place and over-reliance on privatisation and favouring corporatisation, the Indian people stand at a risk of being played at the hands of the American tech giants in the near future.
It is today that we need to have strong data protection systems, and privacy laws along with revenue taxation infrastructure to keep the tech giants from dictating our governments to adapt to the needs and desires of these corporations.
If these corporations find it tough to comply or are found dodging the law, as they have in the US and EU, we may allow homegrown tech-companies to invest in the businesses developed by the American tech giants and ban their products as well just as we did in the case of ByteDance’s TikTok or Huawei Telecom’s products.
It is well understood how the internet is regulating our social psyche and the woes of data mining keep on surfacing along with the unethical competitive/ monopolistic practices pursued by these tech giants everywhere, why are we waiting for the better day?