Earlier this spring, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, of Mass., introduced two pieces of legislation that could affect big tech businesses.
One of these includes a bill that would make it easier to charge company executives with criminal activity when Americans’ personal data is breached, The Verge reports.
Called the Corporate Executive Accountability Act, the proposed legislation would hold company executives responsible for negligent behavior “when they commit crimes, repeatedly break federal laws, or harm a large number of Americans by way of civil rights violations, including their data privacy,” The Verge says.
If the bill is approved, criminally charged executives could face up to a year in jail for their first violation, and up to three years for additional violations.
The Verge also says that Warren has dedicated a portion of her presidential campaign to “holding corporations and their leaders responsible for both their market dominance and perceived corruption.” Similarly, if she is elected president in 2020, one of the senator’s first policy proposals is to break up large tech companies like Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google through antitrust law. The goal of this legislation is to restore balance to the market, especially between smaller businesses and large tech companies.
This proposal also notes that larger tech companies like Facebook and Google have dominated the tech industry through mergers, and that those deals have been passed over by regulators.
As these companies have grown larger and more powerful, they have used their resources and control over the way we use the Internet to squash small businesses and innovation, and substitute their own financial interests for the broader interests of the American people,” Warren said in a statement. “To restore the balance of power in our democracy, to promote competition, and to ensure that the next generation of technology innovation is as vibrant as the last, it’s time to break up our biggest tech companies.
If passed, this legislation would “have immediate effects on the digital economy,” and better promote “healthy competition” among companies.