Over the past decade, Big Tech corporations have captured enough of the global economy to resemble industrial cartels from a bygone era. More than likely, your personal information is regularly collected and used by several of them. Concerns about monopoly power, data privacy, responsible content, and free speech issues have caused a bipartisan groundswell in Congress to act.
One bipartisan bill to address responsible content, for example, was reintroduced on March 17, 2021, by Senators Brian Schatz (D-HI) and John Thune (R-SD). The Platform Accountability and Consumer Transparency Act or the PACT Act would create more transparency by requiring online platforms to explain their content moderation practices in an acceptable use policy that is easily accessible to consumers. The PACT Act would also narrow the liability protections social media companies have under Section 230 of the Communications Act from responsibility for content posted on their platforms. For example, the legislation would require removal of court-determined illegal content and activity within 24 hours and enable greater enforcement of federal civil laws against online platforms.
Bipartisan consensus also appears to be forming to limit Big Tech’s monopoly powers. While the Competition and Antitrust Law Enforcement Reform Act introduced by Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and nine other Democratic Senators on February 4, 2021, appears to go too far for most Republicans, many are expressing support for some antitrust changes. For example, Republican Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) has introduced legislation that adopts some of the recommendations Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee made in the last Congress for making it harder for dominant technology companies to acquire other tech companies.