Letter calling for parliamentary inquiry tech companies - democracy

Marietje

Leaders call for European parliamentary inquiry into tech companies’ impact on democracy and election

Following the European elections, a diverse group of politicians, civil society leaders, academics, journalists and tech experts call on Presidents Juncker, Tusk and Tajani, to initiate an inquiry into the role of technology companies on democracy. In an open letter they recommend the creation of an ad hoc committee of parliamentarians from national parliaments, and the European Parliament. The committee would hear experts under oath and should uncover the many unknown details of the workings of technology platforms and how they impact democracy and elections.  

MEP Schaake (D66/ALDE), who initiated the letter, explains: “Self-regulation has proven insufficient. Not a day goes by without new information about malicious actors (ab)using tech platforms, undermining democracy, without technology companies taking sufficient action. The companies' business models, as well as the use of botnets and deep fakes further impacts access to information. Oversight and accountability urgently need to improve. An ad hoc committee of parliamentarians across Europe would be able to take testimony from witnesses, and deliver much needed detailed information and evidence. Coincidentally, yesterday the US House Judiciary Committee announced an investigation into digital platforms. With the new facts brought to light by a European inquiry, we can coordinate evidence based solutions across the Atlantic, and strengthen democratic oversight and resilience. I look forward to seeing Presidents Juncker, Tusk and Tajani taking action on the European side to ensure the protection of the democratic rights of all Europeans.” 

Please find the letter here.