Labour Party says it would break up tech giants to protect users

Keiligh Baker's picture
by Keiligh Baker

Digital tech firms are too big and the Labour Party would create a dedicated technology regulator to prevent market abuse and look at breaking up monopolies like Facebook, the party’s deputy leader will say today.

Tom Watson will today lay out plans which include creating a regulator, creating a Digital Bill of Rights and giving social media firms a broad "legal duty of care" to protect users.

A small group of US-based technology companies now have a combined financial and cultural power greater than most countries.

“The scale of the largest companies is rightly the subject of scrutiny. We should take seriously the calls to break them up if it is in the public interest,” Watson is expected to say.

Labour did not set out how a British regulator might attempt to break up some of the most powerful companies in the world, almost of which are based outside the UK.

In a interview with the BBC Watson said Facebook’s purchase of Instagram an example of a merger that concentrated user data in a dangerous way.

“Our competition laws are not fit for the age of big data,” he said.