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The Internet Today: #midtermmakeup

New technologies are constantly evolving to make our lives easier. We have self-driving cars, smart assistants like Amazon Alexa and Siri, and a variety of other devices that create convenience in our day to day lives. As helpful as they can be, Juan Ortiz Freuler argues that our current centralization of the internet also has some very serious drawbacks. According to Freuler, “intermediaries often leverage their position as a tool to prioritize their own services, allowing them to further increase their market share” (Freuler, “The Present And Future Of A Centralized Internet”). By leveraging Google’s own services, the user does not get to see the variety of other resources that could potentially be available to them. Although the centralization of sites like Google is a big issue, Freuler says that we can still strive to make a change. In fact, “Last year the EU fined Google for giving unfair and prominent placement of their own comparison shopping services” (Freuler, “The Cambridge Analytica Scandal Is A Drop Of Water Trickling Down The Visible Top Of An Iceberg. Focus On Decentralizing Power“).

Another argument Frueler made about the drawbacks of the current centralization of the Internet is through the website Cambridge Analytica. According to Frueler, “The company managed to get hold of millions of data points of very sensitive data from Facebook users,” but the scariest part is that “the scale of the operation was only possible because Facebook has too much data about too many people”(Freuler, “The Cambridge Analytica Scandal Is A Drop Of Water Trickling Down The Visible Top Of An Iceberg. Focus On Decentralizing Power“). Cambridge Analytica is a perfect example of how these massive companies like Google and Facebook have too much power over our devices, internet access, and lives. As a result of Freuler’s arguments, it has made me reconsider how much information I want to put out on social media. Before these articles I looked at the internet as a source of equal information to all, but I now realize that because of the centralization of our internet, intermediaries are taking advantage of the user to their advantage.

Sources:

Freuler, Juan Ortiz. “The Present and Future of a Centralized Internet.” OpenDemocracy, 13 Mar. 2018, www.opendemocracy.net/en/digitaliberties/present-and-future-of-centralized-internet/.

Freuler, Juan Ortiz. “The Cambridge Analytica Scandal Is a Drop of Water Trickling down the Visible Top of an Iceberg. Focus on Decentralizing Power.” OpenDemocracy, 20 Mar. 2018, www.opendemocracy.net/en/digitaliberties/battle-for-decentralized-internet-navigating-troubled-waters-to-g/.

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