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Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

Trade groups representing major tech firms are moving aggressively to push their ideas in front of the Biden administration, urging action on policy areas including privacy and broadband.

Why it matters: After a tumultuous few years under the Trump administration, the tech industry is hoping for a reset.

What's happening: In a slate of policy recommendations shared exclusively with Axios, the Information Technology Industry Council, which represents a wide swath of tech companies including Apple, Adobe, Amazon, eBay, Intel and Samsung, urges that the Biden administration and Congress:

  • pass an online privacy law;
  • set up a trade and tech council between the U.S. and the EU;
  • replace Privacy Shield, the U.S.-EU data-sharing pact that was struck down in court last summer;
  • invest $80 billion in broadband;
  • deepen research into 5G; and
  • establish international principles on how law enforcement can access user data.

Tech leaders have already applauded early executive orders from President Biden on immigration and LGBTQA rights.

ITI joined fellow tech trade groups the Internet Association, the National Foreign Trade Council, the Computer and Communications Industry Association and BSA | The Software Alliance on a letter Friday pressing the administration to lead multilateral talks on digital trade to reduce tech's barriers to market access and exposure to new digital taxes.

Between the lines: Countries including France have been pushing digital taxes on tech companies, something the Trump administration pushed back against. Tech is hoping to see the Biden administration continue to aggressively combat the trend of foreign digital taxes.

Our thought bubble: The industry has fallen sharply from Democrats' favor since the last time the party held the White House. But in focusing on issues like broadband funding and repairing bruised alliances, the groups are generally raising policy areas where the values of Silicon Valley and the new administration already overlap.

Go deeper

Jan 28, 2021 - Podcasts

Rep. Ro Khanna on top tech priorities, including Robinhood and Section 230

Big Tech is something all Americans use and most Americans complain about, no matter their political affiliation.

Axios Re:Cap goes deeper into the Biden administration's top Big Tech priorities, plus discussion of Section 230 and Reddit day trading with Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.).

Updated Jan 27, 2021 - Axios Events

Watch: Global data-driven change

On Thursday, January 27, Axios' Ina Fried hosted a conversation on the social impact of Big Data, featuring Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.) and former U.S. chief technology officer and founder and CEO of shift7, Megan Smith.

Megan Smith. unpacked how data can help solve some of the biggest equity issues across our economy and society today, and the importance of having everyone at the table.

  • On solving social issues that are exacerbated by new technologies: "It's just not for the tech community to decide [how to fix this] on behalf of all of us, especially because they face extraordinary bias in their hiring practices and their teams' dismissiveness of people who are not of a certain group."
  • On how the government should approach solving problems that cross technological and policy divides: "The key there is less about what and more about who. Who is in the government teams, who is actually in the tech teams? Are they more balanced? How do we get more of society at the table together so that we're more fluent as we work on this?"

Rep. Yvette Clarke highlighted the risks and rewards of using Big Data, as well as the shared responsibility of the public and private sectors to keep the public informed.

  • On how algorithms can amplify existing biases: "[Big Data] can be great in making advances in our civil society. The other side is it can become a mirror of some of the inequities that exist in the real world...and that reflection can be programmed into algorithms."
  • On a balanced approach to technology regulation: "I really want to make sure that the public is educated and informed...[That] we also hold the companies accountable for the ways in which they perpetuate harm in certain respects and reward where they're doing good."

Axios' Chief People Officer Dominique Taylor hosted a View from the Top segment with Intel Executive Vice President and Chief People Officer Sandra Rivera to discuss collaboration and creating change from within the tech industry.

  • "We have convened other industry leaders to really drive meaningful, lasting change forward. This is such a big challenge and opportunity. It doesn't really work that any one company can do [it] alone: We take our role in terms of leading that work by participating, collaborating with other tech giants."

Thank you Intel for sponsoring this event.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker will not seek re-election in 2022

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) speaking during a press conference in November 2021. Photo: Jonathan Wiggs/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R), a moderate who typically ranks as one of the nation's most popular governors, said Wednesday that he and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito (R) will not seek third terms in 2022.

Why it matters: The decision leaves the gubernatorial race wide open and will likely affect multiple down-ballot races next year. Baker was expected to be the front-runner had he joined the race.