Many Big Tech corporations, including social media firms, make money from the extensive personal information they collect about each of us. Using algorithms and artificial intelligence, they draw on our 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.Mounting evidence of how devastating the use of social media is for the mental health of youth, including contributing to higher suicide rates among teenage girls, have given additional urgency to measures that would address that problem.
Technology privacy proposals include:
- Increased Safeguards for Youth—Prohibit tech companies from collecting personal data on children, bar them from using such data to make ads more appealing to them, or bar ads targeting children altogether
- Require Greater Social Media Accountability—Change current laws protecting social media firms from being held responsible for disinformation, cyber-stalking, online discrimination, and illicit drug dealing on their platforms
- Require Greater Anti-Trust Enforcement—Address anti-competitive behavior by big tech firms through establishing tougher anti-trust requirements for those firms and/or increasing enforcement of existing laws
- Require Increased Data Security—Pass measures like mandating that consumers be enabled to access and correct the data tech companies keep on them and requiring those companies to inform users when their data are being used to “score” them as good prospects for various marketing campaigns
- Increase National Security Safeguards—Limit access of foreign governments to private data about Americans collected by tech firms, particularly by Chinese firms including Tik Tok because of concerns that the Chinese government can demand access to those firms’ information