US Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) wants establish a federal watchdog that would focus on policing digital platforms and tech giants. The legislature introduced it Law on the Commission for Digital Platforms (PDF) in Congress hoping to establish a five-member federal body to be appointed by the President and approved by the Senate. They would be experts in relevant fields, including computer science, software development and technology policy.
The Commission would be responsible for ensuring “the fairness and security of algorithms on digital platforms” and promoting competition. It would also have the power to investigate, impose fines and set new rules, such as those ensuring moderation, transparency and consumer protection. The Commission would also create requirements for regular public risk assessments of the dissemination of harmful content on digital platforms.
Under the Commission, a “Code Council” composed of technologists and public interest experts will invent standards and policies that could be implemented. In addition, the Commission will set up a research office with 20 dedicated staff to conduct internal research and coordinate with external scientists and experts.
As noted in the bill’s announcement, today the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission are responsible for overseeing digital platforms. However, Bennett argues that they lack the skilled staff and technology-centric culture needed for robust oversight.
The Washington Post reports that Bennett’s motivation was his personal experience of seeing disinformation as part of the Senate Intelligence Committee, as well as seeing how social media has impacted his children. As the publication notes, however, it remains to be seen whether the bill will be approved by the Senate, in which Democrats hold a 50-50 majority.
This article was previously published on Source link