Where do Trump and Biden stand on tech policy issues?

Donald Trump

The CEO’s of Facebook and Google were grilled about the regulation of Big Tech by US senators, a hot-button issue before the presidential election on November the 3rd.

Here is a look at the stances of Republican President Trump and his Democratic opponent, Joe Biden, on several key tech coverage issues:

BREAKING UP BIG TECH COMPANIES

The Trump administration is conducting a broad antitrust probe into major tech businesses. Last week, the Justice Department sued Google, accusing it of illegally using its market muscle to hobble competitions from the largest hurdle to Big Tech’s power in decades.

A Biden campaign spokesman declined to comment on the Google litigation but said the candidate has “long said that one of the greatest sins is the abuse of power.”

Both Trump and Biden have criticized big tech companies but stopped short of explicitly calling for them to be broken up. Trump has stated “there is something going on in terms of monopoly” when asked about major tech companies.

Biden, who had been vice president throughout the Silicon Valley-friendly management of Democratic President Obama, along with his running partner Kamala Harris – a senator and controversial former attorney general for California, the home of Silicon Valley – have said they would seriously look at the notion of dismantling firms like Facebook.

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Biden has also criticized Facebook and other tech giants throughout his campaign and proposed a minimum federal tax aimed at firms such as Amazon.

REGULATING SOCIAL MEDIA

Both Biden and Trump have blasted social media firms over their management of political content. Trump, whose digital effort helped propel him into the White House at 2016, has accused the firms of censorship against conservatives.

After Twitter Inc put fact-checking labels on Trump’s tweets for the very first time in May, the president signed an executive order that attempts new regulatory supervision of technology firms’ content moderation decisions and backed legislation to scrap or weaken Section 230 – a federal law largely exempting online platforms from legal liability for the material their users post.

Biden, who has clashed with Facebook over its hands-off stance to politicians’ advertisements and address, told the New York Times in January that he wants to revoke Section 230. He was the only Democratic presidential candidate to call for the repeal.

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Big Data

DATA PRIVACY

Congress has attempted, without success, to build consensus on national consumer privacy laws, which the Trump government signalled support for.

Biden has said the United States should establish privacy “standards not unlike the Europeans,” an apparent reference to the European Union’s stringent General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Privacy advocates have slammed the Trump government for repealing broadband privacy laws that required net suppliers to acquire consumer consent before using certain types of the information, and for activities they state violate immigrants’ privacy.

Trump has also stepped up efforts to purge “untrusted” Chinese apps from US digital networks: In August, the president ordered the sale of TikTok’s US arm, saying he might otherwise shut it down over concerns that user data could be passed to China’s government.

DIGITAL DIVIDE

The coronavirus pandemic, which has driven education and work online, has exposed inequalities in access to high-speed broadband.

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Trump has said he is committed to ensuring “every citizen can have high-speed internet access,” though Democratic competitors criticized him within the ongoing digital divide on the campaign trail. In January, the Federal Communications Commission approved a $20 billion rural broadband growth fund.

Biden said he plans a $20 billion investment in rural broadband infrastructure and to triple funding to expand access in rural areas, as part of a package his group suggested to pay for through tax increases on affluent Americans.

The team at Platform Executive hope you have enjoyed this news article. Initial reporting via our official content partners at Thomson Reuters. Reporting by Elizabeth Culliford. Editing by Jonathan Oatis.

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