WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Senate Democrats say they are gearing up for a battle against big tech with the goal of protecting kids’ information.
After recent revelations about the inner workings at Facebook, Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Ed Markey say its past time that regulations were enforced on Facebook and similar companies.
“This toxic content is a cesspool, a breeding ground for eating disorders and self-harm that parents are bringing to us every day,” Blumenthal, D-Conn., said. “Parents of America, if you are listening, you can no longer trust big tech with your kid.”
He and Markey, D-Mass., demanded passage of their bill banning the targeting of ads to kids and preventing social media companies like Facebook, TikTok and Snapchat from collecting data on kids under the age of 16.
“Every day, it’s becoming clear that this has to be a bipartisan issue,” Markey said.
Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., said he supports the bill’s goals.
“It’s important that we put teeth in the law in this regard,” Hawley said. “Already in law, the companies are not supposed to be targeting kids, but we’re finding over and over that they are doing it.”
And he’s eager to go further.
“I think we need to break them up,” he said of big tech companies.
The problem, he said, is that lobby groups will likely launch a campaign against regulations.
“Big tech lobby is the most powerful lobby in the Capitol, in my observation,” Hawley said.
Blumenthal and Markey said they will hold more hearings to further expose harmful practices within big tech in hopes of broadening bipartisan support.
“I like our odds. I think we’re going to win,” Markey said.