News & Opinion | June 25, 2019 12:01 pm

The Federal Government Needs to Regulate Big Tech: Bill Gates

Gates believes regulation is necessary given the current focus on user privacy and data security

Bill Gates
Bill Gates would like to see the government step in and regulate big tech. (Christian Marquardt/ Getty)

The founder of Microsoft, one of the largest technology companies in the world, believes that the federal government needs to step in and intervene in the industry’s influence on all aspects of life.

“Technology has become so central that governments have to think: What does that mean about elections? What does that mean about bullying? What does it mean about wiretapping authorities that let you find out what’s going on financially or drug money laundering, things like that,” Bill Gates said while speaking at the Economic Club of Washington, D.C. on Monday, CNN reported. “So, yes, the government needs to get involved.”

Gates added that he expects “there will be more regulation of the tech sector,” especially given the current focus on user privacy and data security in the wake of multiple scandals at Facebook.

“The fact that now this is the way people consume media has really brought it into a realm where we need to shape it so that the benefits need to outweigh the negatives,” he said in reference to the social media platform.

Gates recalled his own company’s battle with Washington in 1998, when Microsoft was hit with an antitrust lawsuit and was forced to change the way it did business. He’s not bitter, though.

“I, for the early years of Microsoft, bragged to people that I didn’t have an office in Washington, D.C., and eventually I came to regret that statement, because it was kind of almost like taunting Washington, D.C.,” he said. “Now, [the other tech companies] are very engaged.”

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