Accountable Tech Applauds President Biden for Outlining Bold Steps to Hold Big Tech Accountable

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In State of the Union, Biden called for a ban on surveillance advertising for children and teens, stricter rules to govern social media platforms’ data collection practices, and bipartisan antitrust legislation 

Accountable Tech Co-Founder and Executive Director Nicole Gill released the following statement:

Accountable Tech applauds President Biden’s bold demand to hold social media companies to account for their broken profit model, calling for long overdue safeguards that force online platforms and apps to prioritize the safety, health, and privacy of their users – especially children and teens.

For years, Big Tech’s business model has depended on collecting massive stockpiles of intimate user data, designing products to keep users clicking, and capitalizing on the youth mental health crisis, to sell ads and fuel their bottom lines. Without meaningful antitrust reform, Big Tech has had free rein to exploit personal data and self-preference their own products.

The measures that President Biden is calling for are in lockstep with the reforms Accountable Tech has been fighting to deliver, and with what the American people want. We are grateful for the President’s forceful call tonight, and we look forward to working with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to build a healthier online ecosystem for children, teens, and all Americans.

Background on Accountable Tech’s work to protect kids and teens online and ban surveillance advertising:

  • Accountable Tech worked to pass a first-of-its-kind platform design bill in California last year that prioritizes online safety for children and teens, and has called on other state and federal levels to follow California’s example and finally put kids — and all of us — before Big Tech’s bottom line.

  • Accountable Tech released polling with Data For Progress showing 90% of California voters supported the AADC, and commissioned a separate, nationwide poll of parents that found equally overwhelming support for expanding minors’ online protections.

  • Accountable Tech worked with youth advocacy groups LOG OFF and Tech(nically) Politics to support the launch of ‘Design It For Us’, an innovative multimedia effort for young people to share why online spaces should be designed with them in mind.

  • Accountable Tech filed a landmark rulemaking petition urging the Federal Trade Commission to ban surveillance advertising as an unfair method of competition, and detailed the scope of data abuses inherent to Big Tech’s business model, and the myriad societal harms it drives – from manipulating consumers and fleecing small businesses, to perpetuating discrimination and preying on children.

  • Accountable Tech launched the Ban Surveillance Advertising coalition, bringing together over 50 leading advocacy organizations to fight for one clear remedy to address the numerous societal harms caused by Big Tech’s toxic business model.