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US House Committee Push On Increasing Big Tech Accountability

 |  March 3, 2022

US lawmakers considered legislation designed to protect online users this Tuesday, March 1st, as they sought input from advocates on how a series of proposed measures would increase the transparency and accountability of BigTech platforms, PYMNTS reported.

The House Committee on Energy and Commerce’s Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce invited consumer groups, policy makers and law enforcement officials to discuss the Banning Surveillance Advertising Act of 2022, the Algorithmic Accountability Act of 2022, and the Digital Services Oversight and Safety Act of 2022, according to the International Association of Privacy Professionals, a New Hampshire-based nonprofit trade group.

Congress must decide whether a comprehensive privacy law is needed and whether the internet would “break” if a surveillance-based advertising ban was enacted.

Proponents of the bill said the internet will not suffer without the use of surveillance-based ads. However, lawmakers will have to pull off the balancing act of crafting new regulation that increases privacy protections, while considering possible trade-offs, such as with regard to antitrust compliance.

“The time to regulate is now,” said Consumer Protection and Commerce Subcommittee Chairwoman Jan Schakowsky. Consumers want to go online without being exploited, the Illinois Democrat added.

Research quoted by the Committee in earlier hearings indicates that “seven in ten Americans use social media platforms […] as a source of entertainment, a place to connect with friends and family, a news source, and for advertising.”

However, some fear that these platforms can also be used to harm consumers throught the decisions made regarding how they share or display their content, or handle users’ data.

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