Holding Biden to account: Access Now’s new tool tracks digital rights, tech policy

Online tracker will measure progress on seven key tech issues, including data protection, internet connectivity, disinformation, and facial recognition.

As Joe Biden is inaugurated today, January 20, as U.S. president, Access Now is launching a new online tool to track how well the incoming administration addresses key digital rights issues, including data protection, net neutrality, disinformation, and facial recognition.

“This year presents a unique opportunity to meaningfully advance tech policy changes that can improve the lives of millions in the U.S. and around the world — but these changes will not be a priority unless advocates hold the Biden administration and new Congress accountable,” said Leanna Garfield, Digital Engagement Coordinator at Access Now. “President Biden and Vice President Harris campaigned on many digital rights issues, and our tracker will help ensure they get these issues right by putting people first.”

Specifically, Access Now will be tracking the following key action items:

  • Passing a rights-respecting national data protection bill.
  • Reinstating net neutrality and nominating a neutrality champion to chair the FCC.
  • Closing the digital divide and improving internet connectivity.
  • Updating Section 230 in a way that preserves freedom of expression while combating illegal and harmful content online.
  • Marshalling federal resources to counter the development and spread of disinformation.
  • Strengthening federal regulation of facial recognition technology with a keen eye toward addressing its human rights and social justice impacts.
  • Promoting internet freedom around the world as a key pillar of its foreign policy agenda.

The tracker is an accessible advocacy tool that the public can use to understand these issues and help hold the new administration accountable. People across the U.S. and beyond can explore themes, familiarize themselves with key players, and find answers to questions such as, Does the Biden administration have a plan for a national data protection law?

If you’re a journalist looking to stay in the loop as Access Now monitors digital rights developments this year, be sure to subscribe to our media alerts.