X

Biden Calls on Congress to Unite Against 'Big Tech Abuses'

In a Wall Street Journal op-ed, the president says the tech sector needs to be held accountable.

dan-avery-6315-1
Dan Avery
dan-avery-6315-1
Dan Avery Writer

Dan is a writer on CNET's How-To team. His byline has appeared in Newsweek, NBC News, The New York Times, Architectural Digest, The Daily Mail and elsewhere. He is a crossword junkie and is interested in the intersection of tech and marginalized communities.

2 min read
US President Joe Biden

President Biden has called for "serious federal protections for Americans' privacy" against violations by big tech firms. 

Hector Vivas/Getty Images

US President Joe Biden is asking Republicans and Democrats in Congress to work together to rein in big tech companies. In a Wall Street Journal op-ed on Wednesday, Biden warned that some in the industry are impinging on fair competition, violating consumers' privacy rights and fostering extremist rhetoric.

"Big Tech companies collect huge amounts of data on the things we buy, on the websites we visit, on the places we go and, most troubling of all, on our children," he wrote, calling for "serious federal protections for Americans' privacy." 
Biden didn't endorse any particular legislation in the opinion piece. In July 2022, the House Energy and Commerce Committee advanced the American Data Privacy and Protection Act, a long-awaited measure that would reform how companies like Amazon, Google and Facebook gather users' information.
It cleared the committee by a wide, 53-2 margin but failed to advance to the full House floor for a vote. Some Democrats have cited concerns that it would override robust state laws, like California's Consumer Privacy Act. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, a Republican from Washington State, is expected to reintroduce the ADPPA this session.

In his opinion piece, Biden singled out social media companies, saying they need to be held accountable "for the experiment they are running on our children for profit." 

He also called for more open competition in the tech field and said there needs to be new guidelines to create a level playing field for firms of all sizes.

"The next generation of great American companies shouldn't be smothered by the dominant incumbents before they have a chance to get off the ground," Biden wrote.

See also: The Data Privacy Tips Digital Security Experts Wish You Knew