Attorney John C. Herman, a partner at Atlanta-based law firm Herman Jones LLP, has voiced concerns about Google’s digital dominance, warning about the tech giant’s “terrifying” control over extensive digital content, coupled with the rise of artificial intelligence.
Herman, who is currently involved in a significant class-action lawsuit against Google, argues that the company’s AI advancements allow it to exercise near-unlimited control, influencing public thought and societal norms.
According to Herman, Google’s monitoring and control extend to every aspect of an average person’s interaction with the internet. This control ranges from search results and advertisements to the actual content of web pages. Furthermore, he added, with the incorporation of AI, the company has the power to determine the news individuals read, the products they purchase, and possibly even their voting preferences.
Herman represents Oklahoma entrepreneur Craig McDaniel, the proprietor of SweepstakesToday.com, who initiated a class-action lawsuit against Google in 2020. McDaniel alleges that Google’s dominant position in the digital advertising sector enables it to annihilate competitors or any company it chooses, causing substantial harm to his publishing business.
Google, however, is attempting to have the case dismissed. Concurrently, a comparable lawsuit has been filed against the company by the Department of Justice and has garnered the support of attorneys general from 17 states, including politically diverse states such as Nebraska, West Virginia, California, and New York, demonstrating an unusual, yet strong bipartisan agreement to curb Google’s influence.
The McDaniel lawsuit labels Google as “the largest monopoly in United States history”. It contends that Google has attained and preserved its staggering monopoly power through strategic acquisitions and illegal anticompetitive practices over a prolonged period.