The Centralized Internet
A 2015 study of internet users in the developing world reached some interesting conclusions that can still apply today. While many people were using social networking platforms on a daily basis, they had no idea they were, in fact, using the internet. For up to 11% of Indonesians, Facebook was just Facebook, and the internet was this complex other thing that they did not want to participate in.
While this trend was also apparent in other parts of South-East Asia and Africa, it was the implication of this phenomenon that deserves attention. In the event that Facebook’s servers become unavailable, either due to technical difficulties or through intervention of some sort, many in these regions would be cut off from the wider world.
In the years after, Facebook itself grew its network to prevent such incidents. The bold purchase of Instagram was overshadowed by its even more shrewd acquisition of Whatsapp.
The latter is significant because of its peer-to-peer encrypted communication that operates on a totally different infrastructure to the wider Facebook, now META, services.
Amazon provides users with a similar dilemma, not just for their ubiquity in e-commerce, but because they form the backbone of the internet as we know it.
With a customer base boasting the largest companies in the world, Amazon Web Services and the cloud infrastructure that accompanies it far outpaces the rest of the company in growth.
This leads us to a much more serious set of implications, with further-reaching consequences – data privacy.
With a single company controlling as much data as it currently does, the competitive landscape of the free market is under threat. With data being the new oil, the true value is gained from how companies process this raw material. The more data a company has available, the more insights can be gleaned, and none come close to Amazon in this regard.