'Facebook, Google too big to be governed', says French President Macron
French President Emmanuel Macron put the Silicon Valley under more pressure in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, saying Facebook and Google were becoming "too big to be governed" and likened them to oil barons - people who often use their powerful clouts to influence events and decision-making.
The French president, who is facing a test at home over his economic reforms, said in an interview to Wired magazine on March 31 that Facebook and Google were welcome in his country but warned that they were "not just too big to fail but also too big to be governed".
Macron, who came to power last May, said the problem would be more an American one than Europe at some point in time. "At a point of time, your government, your people, may say, "Wake up. They are too big"," he said.
Macron, 40, also said that Facebook and Google present a classical issue in a monopoly situation. He then compared the scenario in the tech sector with that in the oil sector.
Macron also had a territorial angle to the problem. "I have a territorial issue due to the fact that they are totally digital players. They disrupt traditional economic sectors. In some ways, this might be fine because they can also provide new solutions. But we have to retrain our people. These companies will not pay for that; the government will," he said.
Macron felt people should remain sovereign on the matter of privacy rules.
"France and Europe have their preferences in this regard. I want to protect privacy in this way or in that way. You don't have the same rule in the US. And speaking about US players, how can I guarantee French people that US players will respect our regulation? So at a point of time, they will have to create actual legal bodies and incorporate it in Europe, being submitted to these rules. Which means in terms of processing information, organizing themselves, and so on, they will need, indeed, a much more European or national organization," he said.
Facebook was facing its biggest crisis till date after the CA scandal broke out through its CEO Mark Zuckerburg defended its business model supported by advertisement saying it was the only way Facebook's service could survive.