US: Senators want social media users to be able to take their data

Three US lawmakers active in tech issues will introduce a bill requiring social networks like Facebook to allow users to pack up their data and go elsewhere, Senator Mark Warner’s office said in a statement on Tuesday, October 22.

The senators, Republican Josh Hawley and Democrats Mark Warner and Richard Blumenthal, are introducing the bill at a time when there is growing concern that Facebook—along with Alphabet’s Google—have become so powerful that smaller rivals are unable to lure away their users, reported Reuters. 

The bill would require communications platforms with more than 100 million monthly active members—Facebook has more than two billion—to allow its users to easily move, or port, their data to another network. 

The idea, which is already part of European law, has the support of Representative David Cicilline, a Democrat who leads the House Judiciary Committee’s antitrust subcommittee.

Data portability has been promoted in the past as giving consumers the power to move their data, which could spur the growth of social media alternatives that offer features such as greater privacy or less advertising.

Full Content: Reuters

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