Here’s how Biden will work with Big Tech

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Over the last four years, some of America’s most prominent technology companies have found themselves squarely in the crosshairs of President Donald Trump. Now industry bellwethers such as Amazon, Apple and Facebook are weighing what kind of reception they can expect from President-elect Joe Biden.

Soon after taking office, Mr. Biden will face a raft of major tech-related challenges, including whether to tighten regulations on social media players, beefing up consumer privacy rules, updating net neutrality policy and tackling the “digital divide” by providing high-speed internet access to people who lack it.

After determining that tech platforms like Facebook and Twitter were used to manipulate the outcome of the 2016 election, Congress launched a series of investigations aimed at curtailing and transforming the tech industry. Democrats tried to uproot and slow the spread of disinformation on social networks, while Republicans alleged censorship of conservative voices and threatened to break up the largest firms.

During the transition, leaders in the tech industry have expressed both trepidation and optimism about the incoming Biden administration. Many fear Mr. Biden could expand federal oversight and use the Justice Department to pursue more antitrust litigation. 

But while Mr. Biden has often criticized the industry, others take comfort in the presence of former Apple, Facebook and Google officials on his tech advisory board. A number of Amazon executives also are listed on Biden agency review teams. 

Mr. Biden’s political team is also advised by a cadre of tech industry types, including executives with political data company Alloy, formed by LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman, and Google chairperson Eric Schmidt’s firm Rebellion Defense. Liberal activists fear Mr. Biden’s tight tech ties could mean his administration will take a light touch in overseeing tech.

Watch the video above to learn more about how the new presidential administration’s major tech policy challenges.



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