Never miss a story

Get subscribed to our newsletter


×
FILE - A man poses for a photo in front of a computer showing Facebook ad preferences in San Francisco, California, March 26, 2018. VOA

Two U.S. senators introduced a bill on Tuesday to ban online social media companies like Facebook and Twitter from tricking consumers into giving up their personal data.

The bill from Mark Warner, a Democrat, and Deb Fischer, a Republican, would also ban online platforms with more than 100 million monthly active users from designing addicting games or other websites for children under age 13.


The bill takes aim at practices that online platforms use to mislead people into giving personal data to companies or otherwise trick them. The so-called “dark patterns” were developed using behavioral psychology.

“Misleading prompts to just click the ‘OK’ button can often transfer your contacts, messages, browsing activity, photos, or location information without you even realizing it,” Fischer said in a statement issued by both senators.


The bill takes aim at practices that online platforms use to mislead people into giving personal data to companies or otherwise trick them. Pixabay

Restrictions on how social media companies collect information about users could hurt their ability to sell advertisements, a key source of profit.

A website aimed at tracking dark patterns identifies behavior, such as a website or app showing that a user has new notifications when they do not.

Warner said in an interview on CNBC that the legislation could be included in a federal privacy bill that lawmakers in the Senate Commerce Committee are drafting. Congress has been expected to take up privacy legislation after California passed a strict privacy law that goes into effect next year.

Warner noted that Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg, Google and others have expressed support for privacy regulation.


The bill from Mark Warner, a Democrat, and Deb Fischer, a Republican, would also ban online platforms with more than 100 million monthly active users from designing addicting games or other websites for children under age 13. Pixabay

“The platform companies are now going to have an opportunity to put their money where their mouth is, to see if they support this legislation and other approaches,” he said.

The bill would bar companies from choosing groups of people for behavioral experiments unless the companies get informed consent.

ALSO READ: Facebook Uses AI to Find Profiles of Dead Friends so that People don’t Receive Birthday Reminders

Under the terms of the bill, social media companies would create a professional standards body to create best practices to deal with the issue. The Federal Trade Commission, which investigates deceptive advertising, would work with the group.

Facebook, Google, Twitter and other free online services rely on advertising for revenue, and use data collected on users to more effectively target those ads. (VOA)


Popular

Majority of millennials have become more cautious about their finances as a result of the pandemic. | Unsplash

The 'Millennial Mood Index 2021' (MMI) was released by CASHe, India's AI-driven financial wellness platform with a mission to make financial inclusion possible for all. According to the survey, more than 84 per cent of millennials across the country have increased their wealth-management strategy to prepare for future contingencies while also looking for opportunities for stronger and more sustainable growth in the post-pandemic world. The pan-India survey, conducted among more than 30k customers on CASHe's platform, aimed to capture the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and how it has altered millennials' everyday behaviour across a variety of topics such as health, travel, shopping, savings & credit appetite, and so on.

Also Read : Co-living preferred housing solution for millennials

Keep Reading Show less

Ranjay Gulati shows the catastrophic blunders leaders unintentionally make. | IANS

A renowned Harvard Business School professor delivers a persuasive reconsideration and defence of purpose as a management ethos, demonstrating the enormous performance advantages and societal benefits that can be realised when businesses get their purpose right.

Too many businesses use purpose, or a reason for existing, as a marketing tool to make themselves feel good and appear good to the public.

Keep Reading Show less
Unsplash

Student demonstrations erupted across Bihar, and a passenger train in Gaya was set ablaze. (Image used for representation only)

In India, on January 26, 2022, thousands of youngsters set fire to empty train carriages. They disrupted rail traffic in order to protest what they claim are irregularities in recruiting by the railway department, which is one of the world's major employers. (VOA/ MBI)


Keep reading... Show less