If the Europeans actually follow through on what Mark Scott describes at Politico:
LONDON — Europe is taking aim at the lifeblood of firms like Google and Facebook — online ads that track people around the internet.
In the latest salvo, a group of EU lawmakers backed proposals this week to phase out so-called targeted advertising when Brussels unveils an overhaul of its digital rulebook in early December.
Such a move — if supported by the European Commission — would effectively stop a firm like Google from showing web users ads based on personal profiles as they roam around the internet. In short, cutting off a key source of revenue at the heart of Big Tech’s business model.
Silicon Valley can rest easy for now. The amendment in question was not binding, and a ban on targeted ads remains fairly remote. But the vote was a shot across the bow for tech companies and publishers who also rely on such ads at a time when regulators are turning up the heat on the online ad business.
It also raises a tricky question — not just for tech companies but for everyone who relies on free internet services provided to them (think, Google Search and Instagram posts) in exchange for personal data: If we put a stop to online ads, who will pay for the internet as we know it?
it will definitely be a step in the right direction. You may notice similarities between what they are doing and what I have proposed in the past. It has been my experience that the Europeans take privacy more seriously than Americans do.
My answer to the question is who needs “the internet as we know it”? The answer is middlemen like Google and Facebook. But that’s decreasingly necessary for individuals or companies who actually produce and sell things.
Breaking up the tech monopolies won’t have the effect that rendering them unprofitable will.