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Big Tech in 2020: Privacy

How the Presidential Candidate Approach Privacy

Recent scandals, including Cambridge Analytica and widespread data breaches involving social media platforms, have raised questions about social media companies’ responsibility to protect their users’ personal information. What should the Federal Government's role be in protecting user privacy online?

Republican Candidates

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President Donald Trump

President Trump signed a bill that repealed Obama-era internet privacy rules designed to give users more control over their "sensitive" data. The White House publicly stated that it is using "the White House National Economic Council...to craft a consumer privacy protection policy that is the appropriate balance between privacy and prosperity." The Department of Commerce has consulted large tech and media companies to create a framework for internet user’s rights, data protection, and how companies should collect consumer information.

No known position: Former Governor Bill Weld

Democratic Candidates

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Former Vice President Joe Biden

Biden has not publicly declared a position on online privacy, but during his tenure as Vice President, the Obama administration introduced the "Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights," which aimed to "give users more control over how their personal information is used on the Internet."

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Representative Tulsi Gabbard

Rep. Gabbard is a founding member of the Fourth Amendment Caucus, which has focused on "strengthening privacy and civil liberties protections in the digital age." Gabbard also introduced "legislation to strengthen the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB)," as well as "cosponsored legislation like the Electronic Communications Privacy Amendments Act and Email Privacy Act to modernize electronic privacy laws."

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Senator Bernie Sanders

In 2016, the Sanders campaign told VICE: "the Senator is concerned about the lack of privacy consumers have, and how their information is often unwittingly collected, shared, and sold." Sanders has voiced concern over privacy issues, specifically in regard to Facebook, saying, "how do we use Facebook and the internet without seeing an invasion of our personal privacy?" He also explained: "my Internet privacy policy is simple: Our information belongs to us, not corporations like Comcast and Verizon. Comcast and Verizon should not be able to track their customers and sell their personal information without the customers’ permission."