In a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed, President Biden has called on legislators to work on bipartisan reforms to hold big tech companies accountable for their data privacy policies, their impact on teenagers, and for any anticompetitive practices. The President’s ideas come at a time when there is growing pressure from regulators in both the United States and the European Union to address the privacy policies and monopoly power of big tech companies.
The President’s call for regulation aims to address three major issues:
The need for “serious” federal protections for Americans’ privacy, including an outright ban on targeted advertising for teens. This is an issue that has been gaining momentum in recent months, with legislators introducing a bill last month that would ban targeted advertising to minors, following similar changes and policies in the EU.
Reforms to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act that would hold tech platforms legally accountable for content posted by users. This law is currently facing legal challenges in the US Supreme Court, and while it would hold tech platforms accountable for user-made content, critics have warned it could limit freedom of speech.
Greater competition in the tech sector. The President has stated that “the next generation of great American companies should not be smothered by the dominant incumbents before they have a chance to get off the ground.” This is a not-so-subtle jab at the ad duopoly of Google and Meta, as well as Apple’s grip on the iOS app marketplace. The ad duopoly has already made some concessions to try and appease regulators from further action, and Apple is reportedly preparing to allow third-party App Stores on iOS in 2024 in accordance with changing EU regulations.
The big tech companies are already feeling the impact of these proposed reforms, with Google, Meta, and others making historic concessions to loosen their grip on their markets. However, it is important to note that even if these changes kick off the decline of current tech and ad leaders, the process will take years and be full of long, protracted legal battles.
In conclusion, big tech reforms are coming and it is clear that companies are already feeling the impact. The President’s call for bipartisan regulation aims to address issues such as privacy, the impact on teenagers, and anticompetitive practices. While these proposed reforms may lead to the decline of current tech and ad leaders, the process will take time and be full of legal battles. It will be important to keep an eye on the developments in this area in the coming months and years.