US Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) wants to establish a federal watchdog that would focus on overseeing digital platforms and tech giants such as Apple, reports engadget.
The lawmaker has introduced the Digital Platform Commission Act (PDF) in Congress in hopes of establishing a five-person federal body appointed by the President and approved by the Senate.
According to a press release by Bennett, the new Federal Digital Platform Commission would have the mandate, jurisdiction, and broad set of tools to develop and enforce thoughtful guardrails for a sector that has been left for too long to write its own rules, with serious consequences for everything from teen mental health to disinformation to anticompetitve practices that have hurt small businesses.”
The new Federal Digital Platform Commission would have five commissioners appointed by the president and confirmed by the U.S. Senate. It would be staffed by experts with a background in areas such as computer science, software development, and technology policy.
According to Bennett’s proposal, the Commission would have a broad mandate “to promote the public interest, with specific directives to protect consumers, promote competition, and assure the fairness and safety of algorithms on digital platforms, among other areas.” To fulfill its mandate, the Commission “would have the authority to promulgate rules, impose civil penalties, hold hearings, conduct investigations, and support research. It could also designate “systemically important digital platforms” subject to additional oversight, regulation, and merger review.”