The Bipartisan Data Privacy Push is politically theater

Do It Yourself: Why Do You Need to Do This? Why Should Tech Companies Be The First? How Electronic Materials Should be Traded in 2020 and Beyond

For the past ten years, the biggest companies in the tech industry have effectively been allowed to mark their own homework. They’ve protected their power through extensive lobbying while hiding behind the infamous tech industry adage, “Move fast and break things.”

The term “significant harm” is used in the bill, however there are no processes to determine what it is, or how platforms should measure it. Academics and other groups have raised the alarm over the bill’s proposal to drop the previous Section 11 requirement that Ofcom should “encourage the development and use of technologies and systems for regulating access to [electronic] material.” The removal of clause around education and future proof has raised concerns among other groups that this legislation will not be able to account for harms caused by platforms that haven’t gained prominence yet.

Tech companies would be required to protect young people from harmful content under the legislation. The companies would have to build parental supervision tools and implement stricter controls for anyone under the age of 16.

In 2020 and the next two years, yougov and the charity I run, Glitch, found that 1.8 million people suffered threatening behavior online in the past year. Twenty-three percent of those surveyed were members of the LGBTQIA community, and 25 percent of those surveyed said that they had experienced racist abuse online.

Bringing Privacy to the Consumer: Joe Biden’s Last State of the Union Address Reflected in a House and Senate Appropriately

The president attempted to muster bipartisan support to finally resolve privacy, safety, and competition issues faced by the tech industry. Biden called on congress to pass new rules that protect user data and boost competition in the tech industry.

The address echoed much of what Biden said during his first State of the Union address last year. The Biden administration and Congress have been troubled by the issue of child online safety, which hit a peak in 2020 due to the leak of internal company documents outlining the mental health risks young users face while using Meta platforms. A testament to the administration is that Haugen attended the last address of the president because he was a guest of the first lady.

“I will make no apologies that we are investing to make America strong,” Biden said. “Investing in American innovation, in industries that will define the future, and that China’s government is intent on dominating.”

If you talk to US House Republicans, President Joe Biden delivered an offensive, hyperpartisan diatribe last evening. If you had listened to the State of the Union address, the commander-in-chief would have been heckled as a liar, blamed for the epidemic, or met with a loud and sustained Republican.

Yet most all of those raucous Republicans—the ones who now control the gavels, televisions thermostats, and magnetometers throughout the US House of Representatives—couldn’t help but set aside their rowdy ways when Biden unleashed the full weight of his presidential bully pulpit on their common Silicon foe.

Biden called for Social media companies to be held responsible for the experiment they are running on our children. Kevin McCarthy, the newly installed Speaker of the House, and Vice President Ms. Harris both rose to their feet and applauded. Legislation is needed to stop Big Tech from collecting personal data on young people online, ban targeted advertising to children, and impose strict limits on their personal data.

Data privacy—a bipartisan concern that’s historically devolved into partisan squabbling and inaction at the end of each congressional session—owned the night. A popular line in a speech doesn’t mean US will have a privacy law in the foreseeable future

“You saw the people on both sides of the aisle stand up, so that’s a good sign,” says US senator Cory Booker, a New Jersey Democrat. A lot of the data we are seeing already has a negative impact on their self-esteem, their self-concept, and their well-being. I think he is right to sound alarms of concern as leader of our nation.

Oh yeah. Tina Smith, Democrat from Minnesota, says that it’s a big deal. I interpreted that as saying that we do not fully know the impact of social media on kids. The child psychologists and the experts that I talk to say there’s a lot of evidence that it’s so dangerous.”

The Kids Online Safety Act: Sen. Richard Blumenthal and Marsha Blackburn are coming together to stop feeding teen bullies, bullies and self-harm

At a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Tuesday, they said they plan to “act swiftly” to get a bill passed this year that holds tech companies accountable.

Last year, Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., introduced the Kids Online Safety Act, which made it out of committee with unanimous support, but didn’t clear the entire Senate.

Lawmakers and regulators are feeling the heat to act since popular apps have upset parents and advocacy groups for years. They blame social media companies for feeding teens content that promotes bullying, drug abuse, eating disorders, suicide and self-harm.

Emma Lembke, who is a sophomore in college, testified about getting her first social media profile when she was 12. Features like endless scroll and autoplay compelled her to spend five to six hours a day “mindlessly scrolling” and the constant screen time gave her depression, anxiety and led her to disordered eating, she said.

“Senators, my story does not exist in isolation– it is a story representative of my generation,” said Lembke, who founded the LOG OFF movement, which is aimed at getting kids offline. “As the first digital natives, we have the deepest understanding of the harms of social media through our lived experiences.”

They’d also have to create mechanisms to protect children from stalking, exploitation, addiction and falling into “rabbit holes of dangerous material.” There would be an off switch needed for the Algorithms that use kids’ personal data.


The Baby Boomers: Why Big Tech is so Wrong? Campaigning against Big Tech and the California Age-Appropriate Design Code Act

The legislation is necessary because trying to get the companies to self-regulate is like “talking to a brick wall,” Blackburn said at Tuesday’s hearing.

“Our kids are literally dying from things they access online, from fentanyl to sex trafficking to suicide kits,” Blackburn said. The children and teens are currently suffering, because Big Tech refuses to protect them.

In November, a coalition of around 90 civil society groups sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., opposing the legislation. They said it would jeopardize the privacy of children and lead to more data collection. They said the bill could put the youth of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and questioning population at risk because it could cut off their access to sex education and resources.

None of the big tech companies attended Tuesday’s hearing, but YouTube parent Alphabet, Facebook and Instagram parent Meta, TikTok parent ByteDance, Twitter and Microsoft all have lobbyists working on this legislation, according to OpenSecrets.

As Congress debates passing a bill, California has already tightened the reins on the way tech provides content to children. Last fall, it passed the California Age-Appropriate Design Code Act, which prohibits data collection on children and requires companies to implement additional privacy controls, like switching off geolocation tracking by default. Both New Mexico and Maryland introduced similar bills this month.

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