Is it time for tech companies to be more conscious?

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By Stephane Leblanc, Founder and CEO, International Centre for Conscious Leadership

We live in an era where technology is omnipresent in our lives.  Most of us have access to a computer and a smartphone that allows us to be connected like never before.

It is said that the computer that was used to being the first man on the moon was less powerful than the processor in our smart phones today.

Through our phones, we have accesses through all the knowledge existing in the world and we can connect with billions of people around the world, most of whom we have never met and will never meet.  Large communities are being built on line.

Most of the apps and website we use started with good intentions, but as they, the roard to hell is paved with good intentions.  Facebook mission is to give people the power to build community and bring the world closer. Google mission is to organize the world's information and make it universal accessible and useful.  Amazon mission is to offer customers the lowest possible prices, the best available selection, and the utmost convenience.

There is nothing wrong with these missions as they are in fact quite inspiring.  The challenge we are facing now is that these companies are now using the fact that they are significantly dominating their markets to do things that are not so conscious or not necessarily aligned to their core mission, in order to maximize their profitability.

We have all witnessed the behaviours of Facebook who allows the personal data of its clients to be accessed by advertisers and how its lack of oversight on some major ad buyers allowed foreign entities to meddle with the US elections.  Because technology is so invasive in all aspects of or lives, we know that these companies all have the power to invade our personal lives to find out more about us in order for them or their clients to sell us their products more effectively.

We have had an experience or talking with a friend about something, only to receive an ad on Facebook or in our Google search for that very thing.  How is that not an invasion of our privacy?

We also know that some of these apps have been programmed to create addiction to encourage us to spend more time on them so the companies can make event more money with ads as every minute more we spend on line contributes to more profits for these tech companies.

And with the arrival or AI and machine learning, things are about to get a lot worse very fast if these technology and the companies that create them don't become more conscious and only keep their myopic focus on profits.

What about making the world a better place?  Facebook has 2 billion users. If it was a conscious companies truly dedicated to making the world a better place, it could have a significant impact.  However, it would take a significant rise in consciousness from leaders as it currently seem that most of the leaders from these large technology companies are more intent on world domination than world peace.

It is time for technology companies to be more conscious?