June 22, 2024

“We have to be smart, and we have to be informed”, says Sara Gay Forden at Emirates LitFest session about the evils of the internet

 “We have to be smart, and we have to be informed”, says Sara Gay Forden at Emirates LitFest session about the evils of the internet

Dubai, UAE, 12 February 2022: Journalist and author Sara Gay Forden shared her insights into how a handful of Big Tech companies is affecting the lives of the general public on a global scale. Speaking at the 14th annual Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, one of the world’s leading literary festival, Forden drew on her background with Bloomberg News in Washington, D.C., leading a team that covers lobbying and the challenges faced by big technology companies such as Amazon, Facebook and Google.

Speaking about the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Sara Gay Forden said: “It showed us how far we have come in the last 30 years. It was inconceivable that these companies would amass this power – I would argue that they have more power than the government. They have so much data.”

Appearing at the Emirates LitFest both to talk about her book, House of Gucci, and last night in a session titled ‘How to Make the Internet Less Evil’, Forden made the point that the technology is not inherently evil at all, but can be used for good, too. “Big tech companies have inserted themselves into our lives in a way that is seamless,” she said. Exploring how a handful of large corporations have achieved the power that they have, and how this power has evolved, she suggested that what is needed is regulation. In an ideal world, countries would work together on regulation. But in the absence of global cooperation, we could hope for one country to set the benchmark for national regulation and become the model for others to follow.

Ending on a more cautiously optimistic note, she said that now we have seen what the dangers are, we can be judicious about our information, and we must teach our children too. “We have to be smart, and we have to be informed.”

This session at the Festival was part of the Innovative Entrepreneurship strand which is sponsored by Investment Corporation of Dubai.

The Emirates Airline Festival of Literature Festival is held with Founding Partners Emirates Airline and the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), the Emirate’s dedicated authority for heritage, arts, and culture. It is held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai.

To buy tickets and for the full list of authors, visit tickets.emirateslitfest.com

More information about the Emirates Literature Foundation can be found online and year-round news of #EmiratesLitFest on LinkedInFacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube. The Foundation also has two podcasts; the Best of the Emirates LitFest, and the Boundless Book Club