Antitrust enforcement is key to online privacy

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Antitrust action is desperately needed to reel in the practices of Big Tech companies, especially around privacy, according to Google's former head of advertising. Competition in tech is needed to ensure people are able to have private online experiences, because large companies like Google will never truly care about user privacy, Sridhar Ramaswamy said. Ramaswamy spent 15 years running Google's lucrative advertising business before launching Neeva, a subscription-based search engine. Regulators around the world have put increasing pressure on the largest technology companies over anti-competitive practices. Ramaswamy pointed to the US Justice Department's ongoing case against Google as a promising development for other browsers seeking to reach customers on their smartphones without tracking them across the internet: "It is going to unleash competition. They have no interest in privacy because their business is built on mass collection and exploitation of information." It will take years, even decades, for regulators and companies to catch up with laws that protect consumer data and practices that put user privacy first. In the meantime, people can arm themselves with digital privacy literacy, said Brittany Kaiser, a whistleblower in the Cambridge Analytica data scandal who now runs a foundation called Own Your Data.

Former Google exec: Antitrust enforcement is key to online privacy