The Congress, far from being “a series of hits”, is still a long way from mastering the technology


“This is not a trick question,” yelled Mr. Poe. “You know, you make $ 100 million a year, you should be able to answer that question.”

It wasn’t entirely a confusing question: Google maps and other services are available on iPhones, and location tracking by Google services is a serious concern for privacy advocates. But on social media and in some media reports, Mr. Poe has been ridiculed for his apparent confusion about Apple and Google technologies.

The escapees were bipartisan, with Rep. Steve Cohen, Democrat of Tennessee, describing Google as a “device” and suggesting that Mr. Pichai set up an online school for users to understand the search engine where they can be assigned a rep. Google. But not like Comcast’s telephone customer service, he added, where you’re put on hold for 30 minutes and “find someone you can’t understand.”

Another example of baby boomer Luddite lawmakers stumbling around tech, viewers joked.

The courtroom podium belly flops have helped deflect attention from market dominance to corporate and data collection. Since then, criticism of tech giants has only intensified. But despite the bipartisan agreement that tech companies have been bullied and deserve more scrutiny, none of the bills discussed in those hearings four years ago have passed.

Turns out, it’s much easier to hold a hearing that humiliates the world’s most powerful business leaders than it is to legislate. Very clear lines of partisan disagreement emerge when drafting rules that restrict the amount of data that platforms can collect, whether consumers can sue sites for defamation, and whether regulators can slow the march towards Amazon dominance. , Apple, Google and Facebook.

“Hyperpartisanship is the most powerful force supporting the status quo, and the big tech platforms are working hard to fan the flames,” said David Chavern, chairman of the News Media Alliance, a media pressure group that lobbied for stricter antitrust laws aimed at technology platforms.

Meta, the parent company of Instagram and Facebook, has said it supports the regulation. The six cryptocurrency executives who testified recently also said they also support some government oversight of their businesses.


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