Tech Policy Press is a nonprofit media and community venture intended to provoke new ideas, debate and discussion at the intersection of technology and democracy. The Sunday Show is its podcast.
You can find us at https://techpolicy.press/, and on twitter at https://twitter.com/techpolicypress.
Young Advocates for California's Age Appropriate Design Code
Earlier this year in California, two State Assembly members— Democrat Buffy Wicks and Republican Jordan Cunningham— introduced the California Age Appropriate Design Code Bill. The California Age Appropriate Design Code would place limitations on what companies can do with youth data, including tracking location and profiling. It puts limitations on manipulative design, and includes transparency measures so users are aware and consent to the use of their information. The bill makes the California attorney general responsible enforcement of the state’s rules, opening up the possibility of litigation or fines against companies that do not follow the Code. It would also require the California Privacy Protection Agency to create a Children’s Data Protection Task Force that would formulate recommendations on best practices.
A coalition of civil society and tech policy groups supports the Code, including organizations such as Common Sense Media, Accountable Tech, the Electronic Privacy Information Center, the Sesame Workshop, the Consumer Federation of California, and the National Hispanic Media Coalition. Industry groups, such as TechNet and the California Chamber of Commerce, oppose the bill, and other experts have raised concerns in particular about requirements for age verification. The California State Assembly voted 72-0 to pass the bill, and it is now with the California Senate.
For this podcast, Tech Policy Press spoke to three people— all college students and activists— who support it, in part due to their own experiences:
Aliza Kopans, a rising sophomore at Brown University, cofounder of Technic(ally) Politics and an intern at Accountable Tech;
Emma Lembke, a rising sophomore at the Washington University in St. Louis, founder of the Log Off Movement, cofounder of Technic(ally) politics and an intern at Accountable Tech
Khoa-Nathan Ngo, rising college sophomore and a youth collaborator at GoodforMedia.
Social Media and White Racial Socialization
This episode features two segments. First up, an interview with Solana Larsen and Bridget Todd, two of the folks behind Mozilla’s https://2022.internethealthreport.org/ (Internet Health Report and its award-winning podcast), IRL. This year, Mozilla decided to publish its Internet Health Report as a series of podcast episodes delving into the experiences of people building AI and working on AI policy. The series digs into a range of topics, including surveillance, labor, healthcare, geospatial data, and disinformation in social media.
The second segment features a discussion with William Frey, a researcher and Ph.D. candidate at Columbia University and the lead author of a new paper titled https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/jora.12775 (Digital White Racial Socialization: Social Media and the Case of Whiteness).
Expanding Antimonopoly Thinking to Pursue Social, Racial and Economic Justice
In today’s episode of the podcast, we’re going to hear from FTC Chair Lina Khan, who was appointed in June 2021, as well as FTC Commissioner Rebecca Kelly Slaughter, who was appointed to a Democratic seat on the Commission in 2018. This isn’t a typical episode- what you’ll hear is audio of a special event hosted on Tuesday, July 19 by the Economic Security Project (ESP) and the Law and Political Economy Project (LPE). These organizations brought together scholars, advocates, and government officials to discuss how new thinking and research seeks to reframe dominant economic paradigms, and why it is so important to redefine and challenge monopolies.
The event, Resourcing a New Paradigm: The Future of Antimonopoly Research, was introduced by Becky Chao, Director of Antimonopoly at the Economic Security Project, and it is her voice you’ll hear first. After remarks from Chair Khan and Commissioner Slaughter, you’ll hear a panel discussion moderated by the Open Markets Institute’s Legal Director, Sandeep Vaheesan. The full complement of speakers includes:
Lina Khan, Chair, Federal Trade Commission
Rebecca Kelly Slaughter, Commissioner, Federal Trade Commission
Elettra Bietti, Joint Postdoctoral Fellow, NYU School of Law and the Digital Life Initiative at Cornell Tech in New York
Brian Callaci, Chief Economist, Open Markets Institute
Seeta Peña Gangadharan, Associate Professor in the Department of Media and Communications, London School of Economics and Political Science
Lenore Palladino, University of Massachusetts Amherst Assistant Professor of Economics and Public Policy
Becky Chao, Director of Antimonopoly, Economic Security Project
Amy Kapczynski, Professor of Law and Faculty Director, Global Health Justice Partnership
Moderated by Sandeep Vaheesan, Legal Director, Open Markets Institute
By the end of this 90 minutes, you will be up to date on the key ideas, challenges and opportunities ahead for the intellectual project to redefine antimonopoly thinking and law to pursue not just economic but also social and racial justice.
Prospects for the American Data Privacy and Protection Act
On Wednesday, July 20, the United States House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee held a markup that included H.R. 8152, the "American Data Privacy and Protection Act,” which is touted as the first comprehensive national privacy legislation with bipartisan support.
To discuss the bill and its prospects in detail, Tech Policy Press spoke with two experts on tech policy and civil rights issues: Nora Benavidez, Senior Counsel and Director of Digital Justice and Civil Rights at Free Press, and Justin Brookman, Director of Technology Policy for Consumer Reports.
Internet for the People: A Conversation with Ben Tarnoff
This episode features a conversation with the author of a new book that makes a compelling argument for the substantial deprivatization of the Internet. In https://www.versobooks.com/books/3927-internet-for-the-people (Internet for the People: The Fight for Our Digital Future), Ben Tarnoff says to create a more democratic and equitable society we need to diminish the role of the market in the future of the internet, and reduce the power of profit motive to define our online experience.
Scoring Social Media Platforms on LGBTQ Safety Issues
For the second year running, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation- GLAAD- has released a http://glaad.org/smsi (Social Media Safety Index) that finds that major tech platforms are failing to keep LGBTQ users safe. The report was released at a time when the broader social and political context is growing more dangerous- in the US, nearly 250+ anti-LGBTQ bills have been introduced in legislatures this year, even as we see a surge of online hate speech and disinformation about the LGBTQ community, as well as physical attacks.
To learn more about the challenges this community faces in holding social media platforms to account, I spoke to two people who helped author the report and devise the index: Jenni Olsen, Senior Director of Social Media Safety at GLAAD, and Andrea Hackl, a research analyst at Goodwin Simon Strategic Research.
Unregulated social media platforms contaminate our culture
Thanks to all of you for the discussion on the Joe Rogin/Spotfire situation, and how grifters use social media to drag down our discourse. This podcast is an inspiration for us all to do more to fight this.
Timely and important discussions on Big Tech - a topic that’s affecting us all
These are very illuminating and thought-provoking discussions with the experts—exploring the dimensions of Big Tech and its effect on society and democracy. We need to be having and hearing more interviews like this!