Majority of Americans want more government regulation of tech platforms: poll

Majority of Americans want more government regulation of tech platforms: poll
© Getty Images

Six in 10 Americans support the government taking more steps to regulate online platforms, according to a new poll released by Consumer Reports.

The survey, released Thursday, is the latest sign of U.S. consumers becoming more critical of Silicon Valley over the past few years, and at a time when lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are ramping up calls for more regulation.

For consumers, privacy has been a major concern in recent years, especially since the 2016 Cambridge Analytica scandal and its effect on the presidential election.


An overwhelming 85 percent of respondents said they were concerned by the amount of data online platforms store about them, and 81 percent expressed concern that platforms are holding that data to build out consumer profiles.

“The collection of personal data, too often without the permission or even awareness of the user, and the inability of these companies to take responsibility for content that is shared on their platforms, raises serious ethical questions about these platforms,” Consumer Reports policy analyst Laurel Lehman said in a statement.

The release of the survey results come as multiple investigations into the country’s biggest technology companies are coming to a close. Many of those investigations, led both by regulators and lawmakers, focus on competition concerns in the digital marketplace.

Seventy-nine percent of poll respondents said big tech mergers and acquisitions hurt competition and consumer choice.

“Americans are frustrated with the behavior of these massive technology companies. Because these companies have demonstrated an unwillingness to hold themselves accountable, consumers want policymakers to take action to rein in the power of these platforms,” Jonathan Schwantes, senior policy counsel for Consumer Reports, said in a statement.

The poll of 3,219 adults was conducted in July by NORC at the University of Chicago. The margin of error for the sample was plus or minus 2.17 percentage points.