Washington, D.C. — Today, Energy and Commerce Committee Republican Leader Cathy McMorris Rodgers circulated a memo on Big Tech to Energy and Commerce Committee Republican members and staff. The memo outlines the third pillar of her Big Tech Accountability Platform, which addresses concerns regarding the relationship Big Tech has with China, in particular their potential access to the personal information of Americans.
Excerpts from exclusive CNBC coverage on the new Big Tech memo:
“House Republicans are zeroing in on the relationship between Big Tech companies and China, expanding their initial platform focused on tech accountability.
Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., the top Republican on the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee, informed GOP members of the panel in a memo Wednesday of the new third pillar of their ‘Big Tech Accountability Platform.’
“The expansion of the platform signals how seriously Republicans are taking issues surrounding the major tech companies like Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google. The focus on China could also yield bipartisan support given that Democrats have similarly expressed concerns about American data getting into the wrong hands…”
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Highlights from the Big Tech memo on China:
“Earlier this year, I shared with you our “Big Tech Accountability Platform” as a framework to bring much-needed reform and oversight to Big Tech. Our Platform currently focuses on two pillars: (1) Big Tech Responsibility and (2) Big Tech Power. Today, we are adding a third pillar: Big Tech and China. Under this new pillar, we will explore policy solutions and conduct oversight on the following issues:
- “American Information Flowing to China: Companies with deep ties to China raise significant concerns about China’s access to American information. To address this concern, we will consider new transparency obligations, such as:
- Requiring companies to notify American users if those companies send, maintain, or store their personal information in China.
- Requiring companies to notify American users if those companies are owned by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), a Chinese state-owned entity, or a non-state-owned entity located in China.
- “App Store Vetting: Big Tech companies must do more to vet mobile applications available on their app stores for ties to the CCP. To address this concern, we will explore how Big Tech companies oversee apps on their platforms, including how they ensure apps meet their privacy and data security standards, how they review apps for direct or indirect ties to the CCP, and related matters.
- “Uighur Muslim Labor Concerns: Over 1 million Uighurs have been reportedly interned by the Chinese government. Reports suggest that some Big Tech companies may use suppliers linked to forced labor of Uighur Muslims. To address this concern, we will explore processes Big Tech companies put in place to ensure Uighur Muslims and forced labor are not used to manufacture American products in China.
- “Counterfeit Goods: Big Tech companies must do more to address the sale of counterfeit goods coming from China. To address this concern, we will explore online marketplaces’ policies and practices for addressing counterfeit goods, including any additional scrutiny applied to sellers based in China.”
CLICK HERE to read to read the memo.
CLICK HERE to read the Big Tech Accountability Platform.
CLICK HERE for more about Big Tech legislative concepts.