Last-Minute Effort To Pass OAMA Would Seriously Impact Digital Safety
In a last-minute effort to advance the Open App Markets Act (OAMA), the bill’s sponsors are moving to attach the bill to must-pass legislation.
Senators have removed key digital safety provisions—making what was already a misguided bill even more detrimental to consumers and the digital services they love.
Here’s what you need to know:
Bill sponsors removed “digital safety” provisions in an attempt to fast-track the bill, reports Politico. “The tweak was made last Thursday as part of an attempt to “hotline” the tech antitrust bill in the Senate, which would put it on the fast-track to passage by unanimous consent. The sponsors — Sens. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) — decided the ‘digital safety’ language was too vague and could be abused by the companies.”
There are concerns that the bill, if passed, would weaken companies’ ability to remove dangerous content, continues the report. Critics of the bill warn that it would weaken the ability of companies “to remove apps that violate their content moderation policies — a critique that could be strengthened by the latest tweak.”
Overall, Politico highlights that bipartisan policymakers still have “a variety of concerns with the bill.” “[L]awmakers in both parties have a variety of concerns with the bill, which did not advance unanimously out of the Senate Commerce Committee earlier this year.”
This legislation was already poised to put users at risk, and this latest change has only “made matters worse,” explains CCIA President Matt Schruers. “By constraining how digital services respond to threats in their ecosystems, this legislation already stood to place users at risk. By eliminating the bill’s narrow reference to digital safety, sponsors have made matters worse. This is a deliberate effort to limit content moderation efforts that companies use to eliminate hate speech and misinformation to keep devices safe.”Read more about the risks posed by this legislation here.