Debate swirls as power of U.S. tech giants grows

By Rob Lever

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© 2017 AFP

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I have a relationship with each of those 3 companies.

Amazon - I PAY THEM to provide products and services. They capture data related to performing that work for me.

Google - I do NOT PAY THEM a dime, they have never asked if they can use my data and I've taken extensive efforts to avoid them having any data, but they still gather, I estimate, 40% of what I do online without my permission.

Facebook - I do NOT PAY THEM a dime and actively block their sites, trackers, everything I can. I have an account just to prevent someone else from claiming they are me. It has 1 post and 1 friend - the only other person in the world with my same name.

I have ZERO relationship with Apple, yet one of their employees called me a few years ago to ask about credit card spending under my name. Seems that their tools had found something that looked like fraud - an iphone purchase in NYC, then 4 hrs later $500 iTunes card purchase in Miami on a credit card I only use when overseas (outside the USA). I have never purchased anything ever in my life from Apple (and never intend to do so). They removed the charges and suggested I contact the bank where that card was from. I did, they also removed the charges immediately. No paperwork. 5 min phone calls each. The bank canceled the CC immediately and sent a replacement.

Google, Facebook, Twitter, Apple, Microsoft, Oracle, Adobe, Experian, Equifax each scare me 1000x more than Amazon. The gathering of data by these companies and others without prior, written, permission should be illegal. I should control my data.

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Well said, but you equally shouldn't trust Amazon. It's rapidly snowballing into something petty large and scary.

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If ya go to some authoritarian countries, their local versions of these also control 9/10ths of the market

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