vestager3_OLIVIER MATTHYSPOOLAFP via Getty Images_dsa dma OLIVIER MATTHYS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Tearing Down Big Tech’s Walls

For decades, tech platforms were left mostly free to do as they wished, and the harm caused by this approach has become obvious. Fortunately, the European Union has been pushing back on behalf of democratic and humanistic values, and it is now finalizing its biggest legislative and regulatory contribution yet.

BRUSSELS – In the coming months, new laws – the first of their kind anywhere in the world – will come into force in Europe to hold Big Tech companies accountable to the societies where they operate and do business. At this point, we have all heard about the dangers that large online platforms pose to our lives, to our democracies, to our children’s mental health, and to economic competition. Now, the European Union is doing something about it.

With each of these threats, the same basic processes are at work. Algorithms narrow down conversations to small groups of data-determined “friends,” while gatekeepers narrow down online markets to benefit themselves. With such narrowing comes the risk that we will lose track of the broader world, and the broader market, around us.

For decades, tech platforms were left mostly free to do as they wished, and there was very little legislation to limit them as they seized ever-greater control of the world’s information channels. But that began to change a few years ago, when the EU spearheaded a global effort to restore some balance to the digital economy, by ensuring fairness and basic protections for people.

To continue reading, register now.

Subscribe now for unlimited access to everything PS has to offer.


As a registered user, you can enjoy more PS content every month – for free.