President Biden wants more bipartisan efforts against Big Tech
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In an op-ed, President Joe Biden shared three principles for privacy reform and urged Republicans and Democrats to join forces to rein in Big Tech.
Big Tech companies collect people's personal information for various purposes, including from kids. In an op-ed on Wednesday through The Wall Street Journal, Biden voices concern and shared three principles for reform.
The issues mentioned involve big companies pushing out small businesses, polarizing social media, and others. "As my administration works to address these challenges with the legal authority we have," Biden wrote, "I urge Democrats and Republicans to come together to pass strong bipartisan legislation to hold Big Tech accountable."
Reforming Big Tech
Biden "embraced three broad principles" for reforming Big Tech and holding these companies accountable.
First, he calls for "serious" federal protections for Americans' privacy. He wants limits on how companies can collect, use, and share personal data, and mentions that some data shouldn't be collected at all.
Next, he wrote that Big Tech companies should take responsibility for the content they spread and the algorithms they use. Biden wants to reform Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which shields websites and platforms from liability for content posted by users.
He also wants transparency into the algorithms that can be used for discrimination, keeping opportunities away from minorities, and pushing content to children that "threatens their mental health and safety."
Finally, bringing more competition into the tech industry can benefit the economy and people. Biden mentioned the executive order he introduced in July 2021 that — among other things — requires the FTC and other agencies to increase their anti-competition efforts.
Biden doesn't name any companies, but ones such as Apple would be affected by federal privacy legislation.
One such bill, the American Data Privacy and Protection Act, is a bipartisan effort that would provide a standard on what kind of data companies can harvest from Americans across the US. It would also ban pay-for-privacy practices and enforce high data security levels.
Apple CEO Tim Cook wrote a letter to lawmakers in June 2022, in which he voiced support for the bill.
"Your drafts would provide substantial protections for consumers, and we write to offer our strong support towards achieving this shared goal," Cook said. "With your work, coupled with President Biden's call to better protect children's privacy, it appears Americans are closer than ever to obtaining meaningful privacy protections."
Both sides of the aisle are seeking reform to big tech. However, there is no consensus on what specifically needs to be fixed, let alone agreement on solutions.