I obviously followed all the five hours of the US Senate hearing, to the CEOs of Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple. Interest is not only personal or political, but also professional. But what we have seen is just a useless show, which probably only serves the election campaign.
I am referring to this
Let's understand each other: there are no pending measures in the Senate. Maybe there will be, but we will have to wait for the American elections. As a result, the whole show that happened can't produce anything except something that can be:
A measure of how welcome the hostilities against these companies are to the public.
A gigantic election spot for those who believe that this approach will pay off.
From the participants' point of view, it is clear that they had done some kind of roleplay earlier. They had defined roles, they never contradicted each other, they never covered common areas.
The only noteworthy thing was the fact that there were senators from both sides, and so the Google CEO first had to proudly show that they are participating in military programs, and then admit that they are helping law enforcement agencies, to then find himself in front of a senator from the opposite side, and minimize what they do.
But other than that, the show was probably organized, at least on the CEO side. Their initial speeches were at least organized to cover a whole narrative, without wasting time. Without wasting time means that they used the 5 X 4 minutes available WITHOUT ever overlapping saying the same things. In practice, they used all the 20 minutes available to them, without losing a second by repeating the same thing. Obviously, they prepared the moment and roleplayed earlier. In any case, it all started with a good spot. Nothing strange.
For the rest, the four have adopted the strategy of consuming the time available (five minutes) in unnecessary chatter. Questions that were specifically yes / no, resulted in unnecessary pimples, "thanks for the opportunity to answer", and other saws to consume time. The strategy was obvious.
But let's go to the contents.
The questions were aimed at the public. Not to four. If you have the question, do it. Can you explain what he meant next. But many questions were preceded by a long senator's pippone. The pippone was not necessary if not for the public. The questions would have been enough, without explaining it.
Much of the "accusations" and "criticisms" are things found on the net. "They are online" literally means that both Facebook and Google were able to find them. See how heavy they are, how welcome they are, when they are frequent, see what reactions they produce, and focus on the questions and get the most welcome answer.
did they really delude themselves into putting them in trouble with questions the CEOs knew about?
The other interesting thing is that they continue to name the GDPR, as if it were an American law, but they forget that the GDPR is not in force in the USA , and is simply used as a template. But there is no authority in the US that can say "you have violated the GDPR, pay the fine". Only the European authority can say it, and only if it concerns European citizens.
Some interventions are significant, such as that of Greg Steube, who pointed out that he was faced with a case of acclaimed political censorship by google. The answer was extremely confusing, but in the end it was the usual "I don't know exactly what you're talking about?"
On the one hand it is clear that the Republicans have become paranoid about it, on the other hand the question "what guarantees me that you are not sending Republican emails to Spam" has had no answer.
The other thing you notice is that there is a massive leak of internal emails to the senators of each party.
From a republican point of view, with the elections in sight, perhaps they wanted to apply pressure to have favorable treatment, or to feed the population that if they lose the blame, it's the GAFA.
But the impression is clear: internal emails are running, and they are also private emails between managers very high, even third and second lines.
Another thing is that all questions go in two directions:
Anti Trust: predatory attitudes towards competitors that are acquired, and strangulation of small affiliates.
Influence on the elections, but with regard to the Republicans who are the ones who complain, fueling conspiracy.
Very little has been said about privacy, which for Americans seems to be a problem solved by … a European law. Which is not in effect in the USA.
The impression one gets is that the only surprise for the 4 GAFA has been the amount of "Whistleblower" that is in their companies, and the level that has reached. The interesting thing is that Apple doesn't seem to have any .
It could be an interesting thing, because by polarizing the voters, they could put the party before the company . It means that if you fanatic the country, at some point if they see you doing something contrary to their fanaticism, the party prevails.
And if this is true, it is possible that companies have to expect as a result of polarization, a decrease in the loyalty of their employees. All.
This leads to the fact that companies may decide to hire only people whose political values are consistent with their work.
The second point that perhaps impressed the GAFAs, judging by the CEO's body language, is the amount of complaints against them that directly reached the senators. It is true that in the USA it is possible to write to your senator, so it shouldn't be surprising. Yet it was precisely the questions that saw them in difficulty.
In general, the questions are more interesting than the answers to this hearing. The answers are evasive, they aim to run out of time.
The problem with all of this is that being close to the elections, all of this will produce nothing. So you don't have to focus on what it looks like, but on what it is.
And what emerges is simple:
an increasing number of company employees are taking out internal emails and handing them over to the authorities.
an increasing number of medium and small companies are complaining to the senators (via paper letter) about the behavior of the GAFA.
the only concern of American politics is that Republicans are being silenced.
however, the thing is being handled close to the elections, so we chose to do it when it is useless.
as for the answers of the four, it's practically white noise.