Detangling from socially-focused web services, like Facebook and even Gmail, proves even more challenging when the social aspect itself serves as a point of contention, according to Mozilla's Internet Health Report 2018. "Corporate surveillance" is more obvious to internet users now than ever before, but convenience and social norms prevent users from quitting the services.
Companies like Facebook, Google and Amazon are not faulted necessarily for their size but by their "consolidation of power," and as a result, they "undermine" users' privacy and other competitors on the internet, according to Mozilla.
When these companies gather overwhelming amounts of personal data, the pipeline for innovation is constricted by a lack of healthy competition. About 84% of international digital ad revenue is held by Facebook and Google, with the exception of China. Ad revenues are derived from accumulating online actions and interests of users, which Facebook and Google are capitalizing on.
Mozilla was once a golden child of web browsing but has since dialed down its initiatives in commercial products to pursue research-based undertakings.
Mozilla is trying to fight the rise of internet monopolies, focusing on user rights and protections in the face of large organizations' accessing more PII. The extent of information companies like Google and Facebook have on internet users reaches far beyond their intended purposes.
In the last year or so, consumers have openly begun to distrus large tech companies, and with GDPR around the corner, companies will have no choice but to address how they are using consumers' PII.
This means large companies could also risk losing access to data, a fundamental tool in their overall revenue.