Written by 15:07 Media

Big tech, a chess game with the States: a decalogue to decipher their moves

A list of interpretative coordinates to orientate in the succession of moves and countermoves between big tech and the States

by Rocco Panetta

The big tech industry is on the news every day. Between the stances taken by institutions and organisations all over the world, news from Silicon Valley’s headquarters and new sanctions (the latest being Google’s sanction by the AGCM), various agreements and announcements, unilateral changes to terms of service and privacy policies, and impassable walls made of cookies, we are witnessing a chess game with a very fast pace and unpredictable consequences.

On the one hand, the big technology platforms and, on the other, the states, both individually and in their supranational forums, are facing each other.

The issue is certainly an interesting one to follow, especially for those who, like me, find themselves confronted on a daily basis with the world of the data economy. However, the constant succession of moves and counter-moves sometimes risks disorientating those who observe such a complex and increasingly frenetic world from the outside, and at times there is even a touch of digital hyperbulimia boredom.

Stimulated by the reading of Massimo Russo’s accurate latest book “Statosauri. Guida alla democrazia nell’era delle piattaforme’ (Quinto Quarto Edizioni), here are a few notes to keep in mind when you come across a new piece of news on the subject of big tech. Thanks to the dialogue with Gabriele Franco and Alessandro Longo, whom I would like to thank, we have come up with a small decalogue with no claim to being exhaustive or authoritative, a list of interpretative coordinates that I would like to briefly present here.

Do not forget the origins of big tech

In this field, too, the rule of knowing the past to understand the present (and perhaps predict the future) applies. Understanding the history of the technological platforms that today dominate our daily lives means starting to master certain aspects that characterise the dynamics of their development….

Originally published in Italian on Agenda Digitale.