Big Tech and COVID-19: Power and Accountability with Rana Foroohar

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In this virtual briefing, Greg Williams, Editor of WIRED, and Rana Foroohar, author of Don’t Be Evil: How Big Tech Betrayed Its Founding Principles – and All of Us, discuss the heightened power of big tech during the COVID-19 pandemic, and why we need stronger regulation in place.
Foroohar’s work has covered the balance of power, wealth and accountability across business ecosystems, noting how tech giants like Google, Facebook, Apple, and Amazon have monetised customer data, edged out startup competitors, and monopolised retail marketplaces.


With recent calls for nationalising Amazon during lockdown, and the weaponisation of Facebook amidst the spread of the 5G conspiracy theory, the coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the heightened power that big tech holds.
“The virus has time warped us into a place that we were probably going in two to five years anyway, but now it’s happening overnight,” says Foroohar in the 35-minute video.
Foroohar has called for implementing a stricter framework of regulations for big tech that fosters innovation within a balanced ecosystem, and spreads wealth distribution.
“We need strong, clear regulatory guidelines, and democratically-elected governments making the rules,” continues Foroohar. “Self-regulation never works.”
Watch the full video, recorded on May 20, 2020, above or on YouTube here.


About Rana Foroohar
Rana Foroohar is global business columnist and associate editor for the Financial Times, and CNN’s global economic analyst. Foroohar’s first book Makers and Takers was shortlisted for the Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year in 2016 and she has recently released a book Don’t Be Evil: The Case Against Big Tech.

About WIRED Virtual Briefings
Designed as an extension of WIRED’s long-running live conference portfolio, WIRED virtual briefings are punchy, deliberate and engaging sessions that reflect the same high calibre of speakers and programming featured at a WIRED event. Part of the WIRED Foresight series, curated by WIRED Editor, Greg Williams.

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