Many Big Tech corporations, including social media firms, make money from extensive personal information they collect about each of us. Using algorithms and artificial intelligence, they draw on that personal information to offer ads that are more effective for their customers. Concerns about data privacy and monopoly power have caused a bipartisan groundswell in Congress to act.
Many believe that Congress may take bold, bipartisan action to address these problems in coming years. While some of that bold agenda may be beyond reach in this year with the coming elections, narrower legislation targeted may yet be possible. The leading example may be data privacy for children. There is bipartisan support for legislation that would protect children from ads targeted at them. One provision would prohibit tech companies from collecting personal data on children or at least prohibit using such data to make ads more appealing to them. Another provision would bar ads targeting children altogether. President Biden cited these legislative efforts in his State of the Union address as an example of one of the four areas for bipartisan action he proposed, noting the importance of these reforms for children’s mental health.