Biden lambasts big tech in State of Union speech, calls for stricter regulations on social media


During his Second State of the Union address yesterday, President Joe Biden advocated for stricter regulations governing Silicon Valley, and harsher regulations on social media, especially in regard to how they can influence and what they do with the data that they collect from users.

The president tried to raise bipartisan support, or support from both the Democratic and the Republican parties for resolving a number of long-standing privacy, safety, and competitiveness problems confronting the internet-based tech industry. During his almost hour-long speech, Biden urged Congress to approve new laws safeguarding user data privacy and dealing with anticompetitive behaviour in the digital industry.

Legislating the Internet and tech companies has to be a bipartisan Issue
“Pass bipartisan legislation to strengthen antitrust enforcement and prevent big online platforms from giving their own products an unfair advantage,” Biden said. “It’s time to pass bipartisan legislation to stop Big Tech from collecting personal data on kids and teenagers online, ban targeted advertising to children, and impose stricter limits on the personal data these companies collect on all of us.”

Also read: US Justice Department sues Google for dominating digital advertising using “unfair means”

Had breached this subject previously as well
Much of what Biden stated in his first State of the Union address last year was repeated in this speech. Child online safety has long been a source of concern for Congress and the Biden administration, reaching new heights in 2021 after Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen leaked internal company documents outlining the mental health risks that young users face when using Meta platforms such as Instagram. 

Also read: Meta knew Instagram was pushing teenage girls towards content that harmed mental health

As a guest of First Lady Jill Biden, Haugen attended the president’s final address, demonstrating the administration’s support for tougher internet safeguards.

US’s tech war with China – silicon and data
Biden used the primetime slot to laud his administration’s efforts to increase US competitiveness versus China, highlighting the $52 billion CHIPS and Science Act, which contained $52 billion in funds to stimulate US semiconductor production. Despite the speech’s emphasis on China, Biden did not say if his government would prohibit TikTok.

Also read: After Japan and Netherlands, the US goes after South Korea to block their chip trade with China

“I will make no apologies for spending to strengthen America,” Biden stated. “Investing in American innovation, in industries that will shape the future and that the Chinese government is determined to dominate.”

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Biden lambasts big tech in State of Union speech, calls for stricter regulations on social media
Biden lambasts big tech in State of Union speech, calls for stricter regulations on social media
ASE News
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