The Biden-Harris Approach | Brunswick

The Biden-Harris Approach

Biden-Harris Administration’s Next Steps on Tech

We believe there are five overarching factors that will shape the Biden administration’s approach to tech policy:

  1. Administration ramping up: As the administration staffs up, key positions still remain unfilled (note, for example, the delays at the FCC and FTC relative to other agencies). Current appointees are focused on the response to COVID-19 and implementation of the ARP.

  2. Biden’s centrist approach... Biden is likely to take a more centrist approach to tech-related issues. This, combined with Biden’s selection of so many former Obama administration officials, suggests a more pragmatic view of issues like net neutrality and data privacy. Expect administration officials to moderate progressive legislation from the House.

  3. ... but antitrust? One exception to the President’s centrist approach may be antitrust, where the appointment process points to a number of prominent progressives with Big Tech in their sights taking prominent positions. Antitrust is also a rare area for some bipartisan alignment.

  4. The pandemic’s spotlight: The pandemic has drawn attention to some issues and away from others. For example, the digital divide has become more urgent, because it is being experienced by families during the pandemic as a “homework gap.” By comparison, concern over data privacy issues has fallen.

  5. A return to broader engagement: The first four factors reflect “inside-the-Beltway” influences, but this administration is also committed to engagement around the country and the world. Actions in the EU could influence the administration’s approach, or even force the administration’s hand. On some issues, a progressive state could have significant influence, such as actions by California on data privacy.