Big tech companies would be required to turn over their internal data to third parties under a new bill introduced by Congress.
The bill, which was introduced Wednesday, would require tech companies such as Facebook, YouTube, and TikTok to provide data to federal research programs. The bill's authors claim that it would improve transparency regarding the companies.
According to Christopher Coons, a senator from Delaware, there is a lack of transparency regarding how these platforms affect our kids, families, and society. He noted that TikTok, for instance, could be suppressing posts critical of the Chinese Communist Party.
The bill was co-sponsored by Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Senator Rob Portman of Ohio, and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana.
The bill was first introduced in December 2021. The proposal would require the National Science Fund to approve research proposals that meet certain privacy standards. If the proposals don't meet these standards, the company could be fined or even face legal action. Section 230 of the US Code provides that companies are not liable for the content posted by their users.
The bill would also require tech companies to protect the privacy and legal rights of researchers. It also requires them to regularly disclose information about their platforms' content moderation policies.
Several tech-related bills were included in the spending bill that Congress passed last week. These include a ban on the installation of TikTok on government devices, as well as new rules designed to prevent online retailers from selling stolen goods.