, 9 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
The real threat to the tech giants is competition, not regulation, and everybody is missing what really happened today:

Facebook paid the FTC $5B for a letter that says "You never again have to create mechanisms that could facilitate competition."
Facebook already has ~2.5B users. It has the world's second largest ad network. It never again needs data from anybody else to make money or third parties to facilitate growth. This order doesn't include the word competition or include any balancing tests. It's fantastic for FB.
"You need to allow for 3rd party clients."
Sorry, mean FTC won't let us.
"Other companies can build on your graph."
Sorry, mean FTC won't let us.
"You need a real data export feature that allows users to move."
Sorry, mean FTC won't let us.
I can't believe Facebook didn't pay more for this. If the FTC offered to "order" Amazon to help consumers save money by offering house branded options in every top category, Bezos would leap across the table with a $10B check and a massive grin.
This is a natural consequence of the shallow nature of the "techlash". The US doesn't have a substantive privacy law, and the FTC has to base work on what they consider unfair or misleading practices. If critics don't understand the equities balance, they can't balance equities.
This isn't binding on other companies, but it will be interesting to see if they use this as a reason to reduce APIs and favor their own apps. The data stolen and exported to the cloud (GPS, SMS, contacts, mail, calendar) from Android/iOS dwarfs SCL/CA.
Just yesterday, we started to see some media interest in Apple's favoring of their own apps on their platforms. This is a great way for them to push back and make data access more difficult for competitors.

In other news, I'm not sure how the work being done across academia to study, understand and mitigate the harms of social media will be compatible with this order. I guess we will find out. GDPR at least tried to list other equities than a very narrow definition of privacy.
I guess I'll end by repeating what I've said before. This is all about making hard trade-offs, and we need open, democratic means to make these trade-offs. This is not an example of that happening.

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