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Smaller Indie Tech Backs Measures To Rein In Big Tech

 |  September 13, 2022

More than a dozen tech companies whose products offer alternatives to those produced by technology giants have come out in favor of federal regulation that would rein in the largest companies.

DuckDuckGo, which offers a privacy-focused search engine that competes with Google, and Mozilla, the longtime purveyor of a browser that competes with Microsoft’s, both stated their support for the proposed legislation in a letter to members of the U.S. House and Senate.

Proton, a Switzerland-based email service that encrypts communication, also added its support alongside firms like Tutanota and Efani Secure Mobile, according to a Tuesday (Sept. 13) Reuters report.

The letter states, in part: “Massive tech platforms can exert influence over society and the digital economy because they ultimately have the power to collect, analyze, and monetize exorbitant amounts of personal information.

“This is not by accident, as some of the tech giants have intentionally abused their gatekeeper positions to lock users into perpetual surveillance while simultaneously making it difficult to switch to privacy-protective alternatives.”

Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) are the lead sponsors of the “American Innovation and Choice Online Act,” which would rein in companies such as Amazon, Alphabet and Meta. According to Reuters, the likelihood the bill will become law in 2022 is declining.

“While more and more Americans are embracing privacy-first technologies, some dominant firms still use their gatekeeper power to limit competition and restrict user choice,” the alternative tech firms wrote in their letter. “We implore you to pass AICOA as it would remove barriers for consumers to freely select privacy protective services.”

Klobuchar said last week that significant opposition from Big Tech companies that don’t want new regulations may prevent the bill from becoming law.

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