Veteran blogger and law professor Glenn Reynolds points out in his latest USA Today column that Silicon Valley has lost the trust of the American people. The problem is not just that the tech giants have become embroiled in the scandals surrounding the National Security Agency. Rather, the problem is that they are increasingly seen as political players themselves–especially in their alignment with Washington and the left.
In the famous 1984 Apple ad, technology — and by extension, the world of technology companies — was presented as the enemy of control. And in the past, when people proposed laws to regulate data-gathering and collection by tech companies, tech lords benefited from the presumption that they were the good guys. As perceptions of them change, that presumption is fading. Expect more regulation to follow.
But no system of regulation will inspire the kind of trust that the tech leaders once enjoyed for free. They may come to miss it, in time.
As Breitbart News noted last week, Americans actually trust some tech companies less than the National Security Agency (NSA) or the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), despite recent scandals involving those agencies.