The paper discusses the urgent need for regulating big tech companies and ensuring data privacy, digital safety, and accountability in the digital age. The central argument is that while the U.S. is at the forefront of the digital revolution, with giants like Google, Facebook, and Twitter influencing daily life, there are growing concerns about their impact on society. Issues such as misinformation on social media, privacy violations, addiction to platforms, monopolistic behaviors, and unethical use of artificial intelligence are highlighted.
The government’s current inability to effectively regulate these platforms is attributed to a lack of expertise and understanding of the rapidly evolving digital landscape. To address this, the proposal introduces the creation of a new federal agency, the “Digital Platforms & Technology Agency (DPTA).” This agency aims to bridge the expertise gap and provide oversight for big tech and digital platforms.
The DPTA’s mission is outlined in five key priorities:
- Combat Fake News: Address the spread of misinformation on platforms, potentially amending Section 230 to hold platforms accountable.
- Create Antitrust Standards: Develop new evaluation processes and metrics to prevent monopolistic practices in the tech sector.
- Ensure Ethical Use of Artificial Intelligence: Establish an “Ethics Board” within DPTA to oversee the ethical development and deployment of AI.
- Ensure Data Privacy: Introduce federal data protection regulations, inspired by the EU’s GDPR, to safeguard Americans’ online privacy.
- Promote Digital Wellness: Address the growing concern of screen addiction and its negative health implications, especially among children.
The paper emphasizes collaboration between the government, industry leaders, and academia to achieve these goals. It underscores the bipartisan support for regulating big tech and the need for a proactive approach to ensure digital safety, wellness, and accountability for all.