LISBON, Portugal, Dec. 4, 2020 /PRNewswire/ --
- Ro Khanna, a congressman in the US House of Representatives, said that his central push to the incoming Biden administration will be a bill of digital rights, which he and Sir Tim Berners- Lee are working together to create. Of those digital rights, the most critical is opt-in consent for data collection.
- Ro Khanna: "There's one thing that would make the biggest difference, and that's opt-in consent for collection of data. If we had that one change, where people have to consent before giving their data, you would solve a lot of problems. You'd make it much harder for social media companies to profile and target; to recommend QAnon content to people... You'd make it harder to violate privacy."
- Khanna argued that, to fight off the spread of disinformation, any posts that incite violence should be removed. Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter also need to be held accountable and regulated.
- Speaking at 100,000-attendee online conference Web Summit, Khanna is part of a line-up that includes the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Facebook CTO Mike Schroepfer, and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.
When President Joe Biden and his administration enters the White House, Congressman Ro Khanna, whose district includes Silicon Valley, says his central push will be that users should have to actively consent before providing their data to digital platforms.
"If we had that one change...you would solve a lot of problems. You'd make it much harder for social media companies to profile and target; to recommend QAnon content to people... You'd make it harder to violate privacy," he said.
Khanna made the statement during an interview with Steve Clemons, editor-at-large at the Hill, at 100,000-attendee online conference Web Summit.
To fight disinformation on social media, which is a growing problem, Khanna said it's critical that platforms are not letting users incite violence..
"If there are posts that are literally leading to human rights abuses in Myanmar, or riots in India, or threats of violence against public officials in the United States, those posts should not be on," Khanna said. "And you should be able to get a court order to remove content that is illegal under our first amendment doctrine."
Beyond that, Facebook and Twitter need to be more accountable and more regulated, and also to really think about what their content standards are, in the way that broadcast media has been forced to in the past.
Khanna said: "It's not like James Madison and Thomas Jefferson were designing Facebook. Suddenly they find themselves in this position where they're having this huge impact on the state of our democracy, [which was] never designed by people who've thought about that. So I think they've realised they're in over their heads."
As the US works to recover economically, the congressman pointed out that, even as there's been a digital transformation with tech hubs such as Silicon Valley and Austin creating extraordinary wealth, tech prosperity hasn't been shared with the rest of the country.
Khanna is trying to push for economic development that becomes more widespread, and to spur tech innovation that's particular to a community.
"When we tell people who are 45 or 50, 'Go become a coder,' it's too glib and, in some cases, insulting to them. My view is the message has to be more nuanced," he said.
Khanna cited the example of Amazon, which didn't have to pay sales tax for 10 years – leading in part to its massive and rapid rise.
"Why don't we have a policy that says the federal government will cover part of the sales tax for a brick and mortar, mom and pop shop, so you get an advantage for 10 years like Amazon did?" he said. "And why don't we provide some incentives if you're hiring people over 50?"
About Ro Khanna
Representative Ro Khanna is a US politician, lawyer and academic. Now in his second term representing Silicon Valley in the House, Ro is advancing legislation to expand the digital revolution to rural communities left behind.
About Web Summit
In the words of Inc. Magazine, "Web Summit is the largest technology conference in the world". Forbes says Web Summit is "the best tech conference on the planet", Bloomberg calls it "Davos for geeks", Politico "the Olympics of tech", and the Guardian "Glastonbury for geeks".
Web Summit website: https://websummit.com/
Web Summit Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/websummit/albums/
Web Summit YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJtkHqH4Qof97TSx7BzE5IQ
SOURCE Web Summit