Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) has been under the radar of several governmental institutions and privacy regulators for their overly alarming activities related to infringing privacy since 2018. Now, Mark Zuckerberg, Co-founder & CEO of the world’s largest social networking platform, has reportedly called for more regulation of all five Big Tech companies though he believes it will affect his company.
In an op-ed written for Financial Times on Sunday, Mark Zuckerberg wrote that he believes this his views regarding the regulations might just hurt Facebook’s business in the near future. He, however, is looking forward to the bigger picture wherein it will be better for everyone including the company.
He also suggested that the regulation might just end up having unintentional consequences, especially for small businesses as they do not possess the resources to conduct sophisticated data analysis and marketing research on their own and hence rely on platforms like Facebook.
He further went to write that he believed that a democratic process to standardize regulations might be more benefiting. Such regulations, however, can make it harder for SMBs to share their data and use various tools which would most certainly and disproportionately hurt them and inadvertently advantage larger companies that can.
“I don’t think private companies should make so many decisions alone when they touch on fundamental democratic values,” Zuckerberg wrote
Speaking at the Munich Security Conference, an annual high-level gathering of politicians, diplomats and security specialists, Mark Zuckerberg shared a rough idea of the kind of regulation he envisioned. He said that companies such as Facebook exist in the middle of the likes of a telephone company and a newspaper as a content provider which he referred to as a ‘telco-type’ model. Therefore, he wishes for the regulations to be formulated keeping that in mind.
He also seemed to be in agreement with the fact that companies such as Facebook should be paying higher taxes and pay it in different places under a new proposed framework.
An Effort To Rub Off Wrongdoings?
Zuckerberg has been under a lot of heat since the beginning of 2018, starting with going through the intense senate hearing about the inner workings of his company regarding data privacy and Russian disinformation related to the U.S. elections followed by many other incidents related to privacy concerns.
Facebook also had to cough up a whopping $5 billion to FTC as fine for the whole Cambridge Analytica debacle. These incidents have certainly attracted a lot of unwanted and bad press on him as well as on his company Facebook. This, in turn, gave a majority of people the impression that Facebook has repeatedly been very opaque regarding their inner workings and has been operating outside the law.
Facebook still seems to be tussling with privacy-related issues, the recent one being Facebook having to call off the launch of their dating service in Europe as it failed to give its lead EU data regulator enough advanced warning, including failing to demonstrate it had performed a legally required assessment of privacy risks.
Mark Zuckerberg’s recent incessant campaigning for regulation of Big Tech comes makes sense as it comes across as a strategic move to rebuild Facebook’s image as a forward-thinking company which can operate under privacy-compliant regulations whilst also making sure that their platform can’t be used to misguide or mislead their users into consuming wrongful and fake content. As of right now, Zuckerberg’s repeated calls for government regulation of internet companies stand in favour of laws covering four major areas: elections, harmful content, privacy and data portability.