Americans divided on regulation for big tech firms: Gallup

Americans divided on regulation for big tech firms: Gallup
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Americans are divided over government regulation of big tech firms, according to a Gallup poll released Wednesday, as concerns grow over users’ privacy and whether tech giants have formed monopolies.

Forty-eight percent of survey respondents said the government should boost its regulation of technology companies like Amazon, Facebook and Google, while 40 percent said regulation of these firms shouldn't change. Ten percent said the companies should face less oversight.

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Hispanics and non-college graduates were the only two groups mostly in favor of not changing regulations, while roughly 60 percent each of self-identified liberals, union members, college graduates and Democrats support increased oversight.

Adults under the age of 30 were evenly split over whether to increase regulations or keep them the same, with 44 percent voicing support for each position.

Fears over users’ privacy on major platforms have been fueled by headlines about information being collected either by third parties or the platforms themselves for advertising purposes.

The issue was in the spotlight two years ago after it was revealed that Cambridge Analytica harvested data from millions of Facebook profiles and used it for political advertising purposes.

Lawmakers have also voiced concerns over some tech giants’ market power, with the House Judiciary Committee’s antitrust subcommittee opening a probe into major Silicon Valley players.

“By virtue of controlling essential infrastructure, these companies appear to have the ability to control access to markets,” House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerAs impeachment goes public, forget 'conventional wisdom' What this 'impeachment' is really about — and it's not the Constitution Trump officials weigh adding more countries to travel ban list: report MORE (D-N.Y.) said last month.

Despite concerns over tech companies’ power, a plurality of Americans have positive views of tech companies, with 46 percent saying they had “very” or “somewhat” positive opinions of firms like Amazon, Facebook and Google, while 33 percent said they had “very” or “somewhat” negative feelings. Twenty-two percent said they were neutral.

The Gallup poll surveyed 1,522 adults from Aug. 1-14 and has a margin of error of 3 percentage points.