House Innovation, Data, and Commerce Chairman Gus Bilirakis to Keynote Big Tech & Speech Summit

Bilirakis has long been an advocate for holding Big Tech accountable.

House Innovation, Data, and Commerce Chairman Gus Bilirakis to Keynote Big Tech & Speech Summit
House Subcommittee Chairman Gus Bilirakis, R-Florida

WASHINGTON, March 2, 2023 – House Innovation, Data and Commerce Subcommittee Chairman Gus Bilirakis, R-Fla., will provide the keynote address at Broadband Breakfast’s Big Tech & Speech Summit on March 9, Breakfast Media LLC announced Thursday.

Bilirakis, who represents the 12th Congressional District of Florida, has served in Congress since 2007, and has been a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee for the past 10 years. He became chairman of the subcommittee in January after Republicans took the majority of the chamber.

The Congressman will speak at 8:45 a.m. at the summit, taking place at Clyde’s of Gallery Place, 707 7th Street NW in Washington. He joins an impressive list of speakers and panelists, including Cato Institute Vice President John Samples and NetChoice CEO Steve DelBianco as well as experts from the Center for Democracy & Technology, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, Future of Privacy Forum, American Enterprise Institute and more.

See the complete lineup at the Big Tech & Speech Summit.

Register now for the Big Tech & Speech Summit.

Bilirakis has long been an advocate for holding Big Tech accountable. “Make no mistake about it, Big Tech has been given far too much leeway… They have proven themselves incapable or unwilling to act appropriately, especially when it comes to protecting children, and it is obvious that Congressional action is necessary,” he said in July 2021, after sending a series of letters warning social media platforms to better prevent underage users.

In 2022, Bilirakis helped lead the Big Tech Task Force in unveiling a legislative package aimed at combatting social media platforms’ alleged negative impact on youth mental health. He also worked to strengthen coordination between tech companies and law enforcement entities in order to better combat illegal online activities.

Now leading the Innovation, Data and Commerce Subcommittee, Bilirakis continues to be a leading voice in tech policy issues. “It is imperative that this committee establishes foundational frameworks for deploying emerging technologies,” he said at a February hearing. “We came close last Congress when we passed the bipartisan and bicameral American Data Privacy and Protection Act, but this Congress we need to ensure it gets across the finish line.”

Speaking at another hearing on Wednesday, Bilirakis emphasized the importance of consumer choice when it comes to online privacy, pointing to the increasing prevalence of targeted advertising. “To some, these practices may be viewed as more convenient for their shopping or useful for how they digest information, but others may find this practice invasive and unsolicited,” he said.

At the same time, Bilirakis cautioned against placing an undue burden on businesses. “Companies, especially small startups, shouldn’t be subject to random or punitive letters in the mail notifying them that certain practices could be unfair or deceptive,” he said. “It is essential that the [Federal Trade Commission] enforce the laws that we as a Congress enact and specifically authorize, but not go rogue beyond the rules of the road we provide.”

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