Brandie Nonnecke, director of the CITRIS Policy Lab, recently published a Policy Forum analysis in the journal Science that explored what political oversight for large social media platforms may look like in coming years. With her collaborator Camille Carlton, communications manager at the Center for Humane Technology, Nonnecke describes existing problems with these platforms’ data transparency and offers recommendations for further action.
Nonnecke and Carlton explain how these platforms currently justify their limited data sharing by citing a lack of transparency in legislation and regulatory obligations. The study emphasized the importance of binding legal mechanisms, rather than proposed codes of practice, as larger platforms may not feel obligated to adhere to anything less than a mandate. They detailed two proposed mandates: the Digital Services Act (DSA) in the EU, and the Platform Accountability and Transparency Act (PATA) in the United States. Neither act has been passed, but they were both deemed to be the most comprehensive legislation proposed in these regions.