White House unveils principles for Big Tech reform | The Express Tribune


WASHINGTON:

The White House outlined six principles for reforming Big Tech platforms on Thursday and said it was encouraged to see the bipartisan interest of Congress in reining in big US tech companies.

The six principles, titled “Improving Competition and Accountability from Technology Platforms,” ​​were released after Biden administration officials met with experts earlier in the day to discuss “the harms of technology platforms and the the need for greater accountability”.

The White House said the United States needs “clear rules of conduct to ensure that small and medium-sized businesses and entrepreneurs can compete on a level playing field.”

“These principles are the culmination of months of administration work and engagement with many stakeholders,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters. “We look forward to hearing feedback from technology companies.”

A group of bipartisan lawmakers has introduced antitrust legislation aimed at curbing the four tech giants – Meta Platform’s Facebook, Apple, Alphabet’s Google and Amazon.com – that would prevent companies from favoring their own companies in search results and other means. Lawmakers have said they believe they have the necessary 60 votes in the Senate to move forward, but no vote has yet been scheduled.

Among the issues discussed at Thursday’s meeting, which included many top White House officials, District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine and technology experts, were antitrust, privacy, algorithmic discrimination and… other areas of technology policy, the White House said.

The six principles include promoting competition in the technology sector; enact strong federal privacy protections and stronger privacy and online protections for children; roll back special legal protections for big tech platforms; increase transparency on platform algorithms and content moderation decisions; and ending discriminatory algorithmic decision-making.

“The rise of technology platforms has introduced tough new challenges,” the White House said, “from tragic acts of violence related to toxic online cultures, deteriorating mental health and well-being, rights fundamentals of Americans and communities around the world suffering from the rise of technology platforms large and small.”

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