President Joe Biden wants bipartisan support to pass legislation aimed at reining in big tech, but differing goals of Republicans and Democrats have impeded efforts to pass privacy, antitrust and artificial intelligence laws in the United States.
Biden wants Republicans and Democrats to “come together to pass strong bipartisan legislation to hold big tech companies accountable,” he wrote in a blog post. Wall Street Journal editorial this month. While Biden signed many Executive orders Since taking office in 2021 to protect data and increase competition, Congress has yet to pass any legislation addressing concerns identified by the Biden administration.
In the editorialBiden said the United States needs federal privacy protections to limit how companies collect and use personal data, especially of children. He also detailed the need for reforms to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which protects companies from liability for content posted on their platforms. He said he also wants more transparency into companies’ use of algorithms that promote content and potentially withhold housing and employment opportunities for women and minorities. Biden also called for returning competition to the tech sector by providing “fairer rules of the road.”
To advance Biden’s tech policy goals, panelists spoke during the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) Web discussion “Should Congress pass President Biden’s technology agenda?” He said it was critical that management keep in mind the needs of business and consumers.
Biden is operating on tech policy goals
Since taking office in 2021, Biden has signed executive orders aimed at increasing competition and protecting personal data, prompting agencies such as the Federal Trade Commission to consider new Privacy rules and increasing antitrust action against big tech companies.
Also as part of Biden’s tech agenda, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy released “Blueprint for the bill of rights for artificial intelligencelast year to guide the ethical use of AI algorithms for businesses. This concern came to the fore in 2021 when Facebook whistleblower Frances Hogan revealed that algorithms used by the social media platform promoted harmful content to teens.
In addition, the National Artificial Intelligence Research Resources Task Force released a Report This week to create a national research infrastructure to increase access to resources for AI research and development.
Despite Biden’s focus on tech policies aimed at curtailing the power of big tech, voters still care more about privacy issues, said Adam Kovacevic, founder and CEO of the Tech Industry Advances Chamber Coalition. Kovacevic spoke about Biden’s tech policies during an ITIF webinar.
According to a survey by the Progress Chamber of 2022 midterm voters, respondents listed fraud and malware, passing consumer privacy protections, and combating data discrimination as top priorities for the Biden administration. Respondents described Biden’s other tech policies, such as repealing Section 230 liability protections and some antitrust reforms, as low priority.
“My biggest concern as someone who supports President Biden is that Biden’s technology agenda may not fully reflect the priorities of the Biden voter,” Kovacevic said.
Privacy legislation should be high on the policy agenda
However, Biden is “on the right track,” said Steve DelBianco, executive director of the nonprofit NetChoice Foundation, during an ITIF webinar, pushing for comprehensive federal privacy legislation.
Steve DelBiancoCEO, NetChoice
“We want Congress to enact a national standard to replace an impossible set of state laws,” he said.
In fact, there are multiple states, including California, Virginia, Utah, Connecticut, and Colorado Pass data privacy laws, as more states are discussing doing the same. Meanwhile, more than 100 data privacy bills that have been introduced to Congress in the past few years have failed to move forward, including the most recent one. US Data Privacy and Protection Act.
“Let’s pass a national privacy law,” said Linda Moore, president and CEO of technology business network TechNet, during an ITIF webinar.
The federal privacy legislation is something a group of US senators voiced during a panel discussion at the CES technology conference held earlier this month in Las Vegas.
“We need to get back on the privacy bill,” said Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.).
Mackenzie Holland is a news writer covering big tech and federal regulations. Prior to joining TechTarget Editorial, she was a general correspondent for TechTarget Wilmington Star News and correspondent for crime and education in Wabash is an ordinary dealer.