President Joe Biden has penned an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal, calling on Democratic and Republican lawmakers to tackle Big Tech.
Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have grown increasingly worried about Big Tech, the power it holds, and the information it gathers about ordinary citizens. Despite the growing concern, very little progress has been toward passing any meaningful regulation.
Biden outlined the dangers Big Tech poses in his op-ed:
“The risks Big Tech poses for ordinary Americans are clear,” he writes. “Big Tech companies collect huge amounts of data on the things we buy, on the websites we visit, on the places we go and, most troubling of all, on our children. As I said last year in my State of the Union address, millions of young people are struggling with bullying, violence, trauma and mental health. We must hold social-media companies accountable for the experiment they are running on our children for profit.
“To keep Americans on their platforms, Big Tech companies often use users’ personal data to direct them toward extreme and polarizing content that is likely to keep them logged on and clicking. All too often, tragic violence has been linked to toxic online echo chambers.”
While acknowledging there are many things the two parties disagree on, Biden makes the case that regulating Big Tech shouldn’t be one of them:
“We need bipartisan action from Congress to hold Big Tech accountable,” he continues. “We’ve heard a lot of talk about creating committees. It’s time to walk the walk and get something done. There will be many policy issues we disagree on in the new Congress, but bipartisan proposals to protect our privacy and our children; to prevent discrimination, sexual exploitation, and cyberstalking; and to tackle anticompetitive conduct shouldn’t separate us. Let’s unite behind our shared values and show the nation we can work together to get the job done.”
Big Tech may prove to be the one issue both parties can agree on. If so, the coming months may see some major changes for the industry.