Consumers Feel Big Tech Companies Have Too Much Power and Require More Stringent Regulation

June 29, 2021

Latest research from Escalent outlines consumer expectations for big tech firms’ data management, security, information, misinformation and censorship practices

Nearly two-thirds of consumers in the United States feel big tech companies wield too much power and more than half feel the US government should act to curb their influence. Further, such sentiments are consistent across political party lines. These findings come from a new study, Big Tech Under Pressure: How to Navigate Disruption and Come Out on Top, from Escalent—a top human behavior and analytics advisory firm with extensive experience counseling big tech firms around the world.

“Technology has grown to disrupt and interact with every part of consumers’ daily lives,” said Nancy Arter, senior vice president of the technology and telecommunications practices at Escalent. “As a result, those disruptors must now face broad societal challenges, including data management, security, information bias, misinformation and censorship. In essence, tech has become a horizontal that impacts every other industry each and every day.”

Escalent conducted the study in response to growing public and legislator outrage and scrutiny over the roles big tech companies have played in highly polarizing political and social situations in the past several years, including the January 6 assault on the US Capitol, the pandemic, and social unrest following the murder of George Floyd. In particular, Escalent sought to understand how big tech firms’ stances and business practices may impact brand loyalty and defection among consumers.

Among the key takeaways:

  • Nearly two-thirds (64%) of consumers across all party lines feel that tech companies have too much power, while over half (55%) feel that the government should impose more regulations.
  • Consumers primarily care about four essential qualities when buying from or using services provided by big tech brands:
    • Value: Products that make consumers’ lives easier
    • Security: Tech companies that keep consumers’ information secure and private
    • Business ethics: Tech companies that treat employees fairly
    • Community: The ability to connect with family, friends and loved ones
  • While consumers don’t want big tech to be too powerful, they also want big tech to be powerful enough to continue to make positive impacts on their lives through the products and services these brands provide.

To learn more, including the actions consumers take in response to big tech business practices, what consumers hope to achieve by taking such actions, and what brands can do to positively engage their audiences and customers, download the full white paper.

Download Big Tech Under Pressure: How to Navigate Disruption and Come Out on Top

About the Study

Escalent interviewed 1,057 respondents online from April 14 to 20, 2021. The study was sampled within the United States and consisted of a general population audience of men and women age 18 to 65, with balanced representation across regions. To qualify, respondents had to be employed, retired or a student and knowledgeable about current events. The data have a margin of error of +/-2 percentage points at a confidence level of 95%. Escalent will supply the exact wording of any survey question upon request.


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