Senator Tag Team Proposes Bill to Tackle Big Tech

(Photo by Tim Mossholder via Unsplash)
(Photo by Tim Mossholder via Unsplash)

Sign up for smart news, insights, and analysis on the biggest financial stories of the day.

One thing that folks on both sides of the congressional aisle can agree on is wanting to bring Big Tech to its knees.

A proposed bill sponsored by Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) would create a new regulatory agency to target anti-competitive behavior and consumer privacy issues within the tech industry.

Rein ‘em in

Big Tech has been in the crosshairs for some time, and even though the public has witnessed plenty of whistleblowers and hearings with CEOs from Meta, TikTok, and Google, not much has changed.

Warren and Graham aim to make a difference this time around with their bill that would create the Digital Consumer Protection Commission:

  • The agency would bar companies like Amazon, Meta, and Google from favoring in-house products over competitors. Platforms would also be required to let users know when their data is collected and targeted advertising would be limited. And along with the Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department, the new agency could authorize mergers and review past deals.
  • Another target: national security. If passed, platforms like TikTok would have to sell their companies to an American owner or have a US-based subsidiary.

Think of the Children: Graham also has taken issue with how toxic and harmful the internet can be, especially to younger people. In an op-ed for The New York Times, he said, “Giant digital platforms have provided new avenues of proliferation for the sexual abuse and exploitation of children, human trafficking, drug trafficking and bullying and have promoted eating disorders, addictive behaviors and teen suicide.”

This coincides with another pair of bills working their ways through Congress right now — the Kids Online Safety Act and the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act 2.0 — that’ll try to child-proof the internet. Lobbyist group NetChoice believes the bill will do more harm than good, saying these types of laws limit parental authority and free speech.