Privacy and Child Endangerment are Major Congressional Motivators for Regulating Big Tech – Nextgov

Fernando Gutierrez-Juarez/picture alliance via Getty Images

By Alexandra Kelley
Bipartisan lawmakers and witnesses at a Tuesday House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing agreed that there is an emerging need for Big Tech companies to promote more privacy for online users, with the ban of surveillance advertising one of the critical topics discussed.
“Targeted targeted advertising is at the heart of the online consumer model online business model,” Rep. Janice Schakowsky, D-Ill., “But it fundamentally violates user’s privacy in a way that would never be accepted. If consumers were actually given the choice.”
Surveillance advertising, or the practice of targeting ads for goods to online users based on their search history, is a key revenue stream for many websites, especially social media companies. Surveillance ads hinge on using data from users that documents their online behavior, and other factors like location, to match them with products they may purchase.
Critics call the practice invasive and a violation of individual rights to privacy. Another major component to digital advertising are algorithms that help match ads to users. The discriminatory nature of some algorithms was also brought up and addressed by Mutale Nkonde, the chief executive for AI for the People U.S.
Nkonde called for public sector intervention and greater transparency in algorithms’ decision-making. 
“Oversight is impossible, unless a good faith public sector actor has the right to examine how machine learning systems make their determinations,” she testified. “And from an oversight perspective, Congress just needs to know are these products in line of the laws of our land.”
She advocated for impact assessments to be conducted on critical algorithms. 
The hearing additionally explored the intersection of tech companies’ lack of transparency and childrens’ online activity, especially on popular social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram.
One witness, Florida police officer and special agent supervisor Mike Duffey, described the challenges law enforcement has in policing online crimes, particularly in relation to minors. 
“Social media has become the new “virtual playground” for today’s youth, yet there are very few rules to govern that playground,” Duffey said in his opening statement. He advocated for stronger regulatory and legal frameworks that mandate tech companies participate with law enforcement investigations, mainly through granting access to devices and accounts in emergencies.
He also noted that gaps in knowledge between law enforcement and specific technologies further hinder cooperation.
“I think the failure is the lack of communication between big tech and law enforcement to discuss the trends, to discuss the acronyms, and the use of emojis and the different codes by which today’s youth communicate,” Duffey explained. 
These testimonies reflected the general support for bills including “Banning Surveillance Advertising Act of 2022,” the “Algorithmic Accountability Act of 2022,” and the “Cooperation Among Police, Tech and Users to Resist Exploitation Act.”
Should these bills pass into law, they would each demand more government oversight and cooperation with Big Tech companies. Some lawmakers argued that as Russia continues its military assault on Ukraine, both physically and virtually, enhancing regulations over the U.S. tech industry is critical. 
This follows the recent ban Facebook and TikTok enacted on content and misinformation related to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The latter social media platform has raised national security concerns about the handling of its American users’ data when it was revealed that the Chinese company ByteDance owns the app. 
“The dangers of foreign adversaries using social media to advance their agenda is clearly a very real danger,” Rep. Neal Dunn, R-Fla., said. “Social media companies have a social responsibility to not allow malign state influences on their websites. And I think our national security depends on that.”
NEXT STORY: Biden Calls Out Big Tech, Supports Greater Domestic Investment
Do Not Sell My Personal Information
When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.
Manage Consent Preferences
Strictly Necessary Cookies – Always Active
We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.
Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies
Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link
If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.
Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.
Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.
If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings

Cookie List
A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:
Strictly Necessary Cookies
We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.
Functional Cookies
We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.
Performance Cookies
We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.
Sale of Personal Data
We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.
Social Media Cookies
We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.
Targeting Cookies
We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.
Help us tailor content specifically for you:

source

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.