On October 22nd, some of Silicon Valley’s biggest critics introduced a bill that’s meant to undercut social media monopolies. The Augmenting Compatibility and Competition by Enabling Service Switching (ACCESS) Act is designed to make “large communications platforms” loosen their hold on user data. It builds on regulations that have already been implemented in Europe, and it speaks to serious concerns about online walled gardens.
The ACCESS Act applies to “large communications platforms” with 100 million monthly users that generate income from collecting, processing, or sharing user data. That would cover Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and most other well-known social networks.
These platforms would have to offer interfaces that let users download their own data or transfer it to another service. Platforms would also need to let users authorize third-party apps that could access and interact with data as long as these “custodial third-party agents” register with the Federal Trade Commission and meet basic ethics and security standards.
My take is that on the face of it this is the discussion we need to have but I always wonder if it's not a case of "careful of what you ask for as you may get it (along with consequences)". It sort of smells of these APIs being able to be used for other purposes which are not to the benefit of the individuals. A data takeout is of no use to individuals either if their friends are still on the network they left, and there is no interoperability (like the federated Fediverse has).
But a standard interoperability would allow small players to enter the market and plug into the bigger players. But yes questions about moderation, security, etc need to be dealt with.
#socialnetworks How would opening up Facebook change the internet?
Interoperability could solve some problems while raising others.