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How COVID-19 has Changed Public Perception of Amazon, Big Tech

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Big tech companies like Amazon are rebuilding trust among consumers for all the good they’re doing amid the COVID-19 pandemic. As people turn to the companies for vital supplies and food items, experts are wondering if the coronavirus is squashing the “techlash.”

In Wired, Steven Levy recently asked just that: “Has the Coronavirus Killed the Techlash?”  He wrote: “The pandemic does not make any of the complaints about the tech giants less valid. We still need a reckoning that protects the privacy of citizens, levels the competitive playing field, and holds these giants to account. Bu the moment for that reckoning doesn’t seem sustainable at the moment when, to prop up our diminished lives, we are desperately dependent on what they’ve built. And glad that they built it.”

Amazon and other large tech companies have been the target of public scorn and regulatory scrutiny because of their sizes and misuse of data, according to financial site Investopedia. “[The tech companies] are now receiving kudos as they wield those great powers to help society through a dark time,” Deborah D’Souza wrote. “Most crucial, however, is the breakthrough in the groceries segment the company has received.

As more states issue shelter-at-home orders, consumers are turning to Amazon to purchase food and perishable items they would normally buy at a smaller neighborhood store. Amazon also announced it is hiring 100,000 more U.S. workers, raising pay and prioritizing medical supplies and household staples in its warehouses as demand increases.

When COVID-19 peaks and things return to normal, D’Souza said people’s habits will have changed. “It’s likely we’re going to turn to Amazon for our basics in our households more,” she wrote. “E-commerce as an industry depends on shaping and reshaping purchasing habits.”