AAI’s Moss Tells the New York Observer: Social Regulation is the Best Policy Tool for Dealing with Platform Privacy Issues

The New York Observer sought AAI’s perspective on how to address the privacy issues surrounding social media platforms. In the May 21, 2019 article “What Breaking Up Facebook Would Actually Entail, According to Experts,” AAI President Diana Moss highlighted that antitrust has limited ability to effectively address privacy issues around the social media platforms. Rather, she said, social regulation is likely the best tool to address privacy. The article quoted Moss:

“It’s not even clear that breaking up a Facebook or any sort of platform into separate individual companies would do anything to enhance incentives to protect privacy,” Moss explained.

“Antitrust isn’t going get to that problem because privacy is more of a social regulation problem,” Moss said. “So just like we have health and safety regulation to protect consumers, we would have social regulation designed to protect the privacy of users.”

“You would need a major piece of legislation,” to rein in Facebook’s abuse, she said, “to motivate and to put into place a sort of social regulatory framework to address” this problem.

“If there needs to be more intervention and oversight in these platform markets, and to rein in the platforms, then I think there’s going to have to be some sort of proposal to create a new form of regulation that’s sort of a hybrid, or a hybrid oversight process,” Moss said. “There would have to be new acts introduced, we’d need a new sector regulator that’s responsible for overseeing and regulation and compliance.”