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Luis Hernández Garrido
Tecnología

La arrogancia de Silicon Valley en la batalla por la industria móvil representada en el MWC

Siempre es así, es difícil ver las señales del cambio. Pero vivimos, sin percatarnos de ello, una etapa crucial en el desarrollo de la industria móvil que puede deteriorar nuestra relación con la tecnología en el futuro.

Un momento a la altura de la aparición de internet, donde afortunadamente se establecieron sólidos pilares, como los principios de neutralidad de la red, que han permitido desarrollar un espacio de libertad y oportunidades que hoy poca gente cuestiona.

Hace unos días Bill Gates advertía a Sillicon Valley que evitara convertirse en el nuevo Microsoft (Bill Gates warns Silicon Valley not to be the new Microsoft), esto es, procurara no desarrollar una política arrogante, injusta, que desemboque en prácticas monopolísticas y que estaría en el límite de forzar la intervención de gobiernos.

Y aunque últimamente está de moda odiar Silicon Valley, hablar de la toxicidad de su cultura o cómo han perdido su encanto los emprendedores – cuando a la vez leemos todos los días cuantos quieren imitarlo y aspiran a nombrar su ciudad como el nuevo “valle” de su región – esta vez las señales del peligro que corremos, consecuencia de la lucha por el control del espacio móvil en compañías como Facebook, Google o Apple, están por todas partes.

En ocasiones son cuestiones tan obvias como la última sentencia de  la comisión europea, con una multa récord de 2,42 mil millones de euros, por abuso de posición al buscador o la concentración y anormal reparto de las cuotas de mercado en publicidad móvil por el duopolio Facebook/Google.  Pero otras veces se trata de cuestiones más sutiles relacionadas con el control que hacen de internet en el móvil compañías como Google.

Algunos ejemplos son desarrollos como AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) que menoscaban estándares que pueden cubrir perfectamente estas necesidades, conceptos como las Instant-Apps que nos vinculan inevitablemente a sistemas propietarios, toda clase de elementos arbitrarios que no son marcados como publicitarios en resultados orgánicos del buscador (widgets, paneles, snippets), bloqueos por motivos de “seguridad” injustificados que afectan al índice, limitaciones al acceso a herramientas en sus navegadores móviles (por ejemplo no permitiendo la instalación de adblockers en Chrome para móvil), control de Android vía servicios de Google Play, acuerdos poco transparentes con fabricantes de smartphones, utilización interesada de conceptos y tecnologías open-source, políticas arbitrarias en todo tipo de productos en publicidad online a los que no hay una alternativa real… por no mencionar temas de privacidad y utilización de los usuarios como mercancía. Una lista de agravios igual de extensa puede hacerse de cualquier otro gigante tecnológico.

Ahora bien, hay margen para poner en marcha soluciones, no estamos ante un escenario catastrófico e inevitable. Es cierto que nuestros móviles son dispositivos intervenidos y nada neutrales, pero siempre tenemos la opción de no alimentar al monstruo. En este primer nivel de responsabilidad es decisión nuestra apostar por servicios abiertos que nos ofrezcan mayor libertad.

En  ocasiones son gestos tan sencillos como elegir nuestras aplicaciones. Firefox de Mozilla, organización cuyo único ánimo es defender una web abierta, en lugar de Chrome. Quizás probar Telegram además de Whatsapp, esta última propiedad de Facebook, que tiene en su haber 4 de las aplicaciones más descargadas del mundo. O por ejemplo hacer uso de plataformas que nos permitan instalar aplicaciones sin restricciones artificiales o que comprometan nuestra privacidad, que faciliten el trabajo entre plataformas en lugar de levantar muros que limitan nuestra capacidad de elección.

Al mismo tiempo, los que trabajamos en la industria móvil, tenemos la responsabilidad de luchar cada día para dar más poder a los usuarios, liberarlos en la medida de nuestras posibilidades de estos ecosistemas cerrados y desarrollar herramientas más justas donde la relación entre la tecnología y las personas ofrezca mejores oportunidades.

Por último, el papel más importante está reservado para los héroes, los integrantes de un movimiento creciente que incluye los defensores de Internet y la tecnología como servicio público, activistas de la web abierta, particulares y organizaciones cuya labor es educar sobre la importancia de las políticas online, nuestros derechos digitales o la defensa de la necesaria libertad individual y privacidad en la red.

Así, en unos días veremos una nueva demostración de esta contienda en Barcelona, en el Mobile World Congress. Un espectacular escenario (con más de 6.100 consejeros delegados, 3.500 medios de comunicación y un impacto económico, según análisis de los organizadores, de 465 millones de euros en su última edición) donde estaremos todos; los gigantes tecnológicos destinados a convertirse en el nuevo Microsoft, los usuarios, víctimas de la arrogancia mencionada por Bill Gates y, espero que también, algunos de los héroes de esta próxima etapa en la historia de la tecnología.


Luis Hernández Garrido (@luishg)
Co-Fundador Uptodown.com
Primera plataforma independiente de distribución de aplicaciones móviles

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