Today, TechFreedom was joined by a coalition of leading civil society groups and experts in technology and freedom of expression in a coalition letter to express our concerns about the Open App Markets Act (OAMA).
We appreciate that the bill’s sponsors have implemented the first amendment we suggested in our February 2 letter. OAMA should not create liability in instances where an app has been excluded from an app store for violating acceptable content policies. But OAMA’s sponsors did not implement our second amendment, which would ensure that OAMA focuses exclusively on the ostensible purpose: economic self-dealing, i.e., preferencing apps offered by the owner of the app store or by its business partners because of that affiliation. Without this further amendment, Section 3(e) would invite endless litigation over subjective editorial judgments. Most obviously, app developers will sue, arguing that their complete exclusion from search results for “news” constitutes “unequal treatment.”
TechFreedom sent a second letter to OAMA’s sponsors on February 2, explaining why the bill would make it extraordinarily difficult for app stores to protect user privacy, security, and digital safety, and to prevent violations of law, from copyright infringement to the dissemination of child sexual abuse material. Those concerns have not yet been addressed.
OAMA simply is not ready for floor action in its current form.
- Our coalition letter on content moderation effects of OAMA, (Feb. 2, 2022)
- Our letter on user privacy, security, and digital safety effects of OAMA, (Feb. 2, 2022)
About TechFreedom:TechFreedom is a non-profit, non-partisan technology policy think tank. We work to chart a path forward for policymakers towards a bright future where technology enhances freedom, and freedom enhances technology.