Big Tech rocks 2024, paying off 2023 fines in a week

January 13, 2024
1 min read

A week into 2024, big tech companies such as Meta, Google, Apple, and Microsoft have already earned enough revenue to pay off all the fines they incurred in 2023 for data abuses under GDPR. Data protection fines are proving to be ineffective deterrents for these companies, as the fines are small compared to their overall revenues. This allows tech giants to continue abusing user data with little consequence. To truly change this, governments need to issue fines that have a real financial effect and combine them with practical measures like enforced behavioral and structural changes. The EU Digital Market Act (DMA) and the proposed Digital Markets, Consumer and Competition Bill (DMCC) in the UK are seen as steps in the right direction. However, smaller companies are offering privacy-first alternatives to big tech products. Proton, a Swiss privacy firm, provides encrypted email, VPN services, secure calendars, cloud storage, and a password manager tool. Other alternatives include the encrypted messaging app Signal and the Mullvad browser. It ultimately comes down to the consumer’s choice to use data-hungry products or switch to privacy-first alternatives.

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