An early investor – and now a big critic – of Facebook wants to make the regulation of technology giants a central theme for the presidential race of 2020.
Roger McNamee, an outspoken critic and former mentor to Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg, said at South by Southwest he has advised several Democratic candidates on how to potentially regulate the tech industry. These include leaders such as US Senator Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Which rolled out its own plan to regulate companies such as Facebook, Google and Apple on Friday. He cited Warren's proposal as "brilliant," adding that he also talked to other candidates' associates, including US Senator Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., And US Senator Cory Booker, DN.J.
"That's the cool thing about it: it's not a right-wing or left-wing problem," McNamee said. "It's a right against a wrong problem. I do not want to live in a totalitarian country, and I think that should apply to both businesses and the government.
McNamee compared Warren's plan for technical regulation with measures that former President Teddy Roosevelt had taken against the oil industry in June of the early 1900s. He said companies like Facebook should be phased out – possibly Facebook's WhatsApp and Instagram were disconnected from the parent, and it's also suggested that Google-owned YouTube be better off on its own.
Facebook has made some changes over the past year, as users can control their online data. Just last week, Zuckerberg announced new plans to encrypt messaging in the future. However, McNamee said the company had not done enough to resolve the issues and wondered if the recent changes were a preventive measure against the forthcoming Federal Trade Commission measures.
"The sad thing about Facebook is historical It behaved like the others, it was okay to apologize, and just did what you did before," McNamee said. "However, this schedule does not work as well as it did in the first 15 years of the company."
Data protection issues were one of several topics this weekend during the SXSW 2019. Many Democratic leaders joined the festival to talk about how they would approach regulation and other issues. Warren himself was here in Austin on Saturday to discuss her suggestion, while former US MP Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said workers should also prepare for other technological changes such as the automation of workforces.
However, Facebook and Google are not the only ones targeted by this McNamee. He said Facebook was "awkward enough to be caught abusing user data," but said that others like Amazon and Microsoft do not have their own problems.
For example, on new laws such as the European Data Protection Act or consumers in California According to the US federal law for the protection of the GDPR, the GDPR is too cumbersome for all, while the law in California is "too narrow". He said that a more important law currently being considered in California is a law that could allow consumers to sue when companies misappropriate or misread their data.
McNamee said Facebook was "net negative" for the company, adding that the company's executives still have the opportunity to change that. Asked whether Zuckerberg should step down as CEO of Facebook, as some have suggested, McNamee said he did not think that was the solution.
"I do not think it's about people," he said. "It's about the business model."