How dangerous is Big Tech?

In March 2021, at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, four of Europe’s most powerful women sent a letter to Brussels. It included a dire warning. The pandemic had shown how much the EU depends on foreign technology, they wrote — and this needs to change.
Their language was diplomatic — but the underlying message was clear: It’s time to rein in Big Tech.
Governments around the globe have set their eyes on the world’s largest tech companies.
We might not always notice it — but technology is all around us. We use it to communicate, to get information, to organize our lives. And almost all that technology is made by private companies.
This has given rise to an industry known as Big Tech. And within this industry, four companies have become especially powerful: Alphabet — which owns Google — Amazon, Facebook and Apple.
In fact, they’re so big now they’re known as the “Big Four,” or by their acronym “GAFA.”
Those “Big Four” actually run fairly different businesses. But what they have in common is that they provide digital services — and they have become so ingrained in our lives that it’s almost impossible to avoid them.
But how did Big Tech come under so much fire?
And how did it get so “Big” in the first place?