For Policymakers

How can public policy incentivize technology to be more humane?

The Importance of Public Policy

What is public policy?

Public policy includes the laws and regulations put in place by governments to address social and economic issues.

Public policy is an essential part of the solution in the movement toward humane technology. When policies focus on humane technology, they push tech companies to design and build products that are better for our well-being.

For example, California recently passed the CA Kids Code which mandates that platforms design their products to ensure kids’ privacy and safety by default.

It’s important to note that policy both reflects, and shifts, the public will. Policy changes are easier to achieve when they are integrated with business practices, public awareness, and cultural values.

What We Do

We work with policy experts, technologists, civil society organizations, and thought leaders to:

Support policies that will have significant, strategic impact
Eliminate silos by including stakeholders in the policymaking process
Provide holistic insight and ideas for effective policies

CHT Policy Work

Humane Policy Principles and Policy Reforms are foundational to our work. These resources are informed by our extensive research and leading experts; they provide guidance and ideas for both new and existing policies.

Policy Principles

Our Humane Policy Principles guide our thinking around the development and evaluation of effective legislative, regulatory, and other policy-related work.

These principles are cross-disciplinary — informed by systems thinking, participatory design, development, and the work of experts such as Dr. Donella Meadows and Shoshana Zuboff.

Policy Reforms

Our Policy Reforms describe a framework to shift the extractive technology ecosystem by addressing asymmetries of power, shifting incentives, and prioritizing human well-being over corporate profit.

These Policy Reforms include both existing policies and proposed policy ideas.

CHT Testifies Before Congress

US Senate
5:30 minutes
Algorithms and Amplification: How Social Media Platforms’ Design Choices Shape Our Discourse and Our Minds

Tristan Harris virtually joined a Senate hearing for the Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology, and the Law to offer testimony on how social media platforms’ design choices shape our discourse and our minds.

April 27, 2021
US House of Representatives
5:37 minutes
Americans at Risk: Manipulation and Deception in the Digital Age

Tristan Harris testifies in front of the House Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce on the dangers of rampant disinformation and digital manipulation, which are incentivized by social media’s business model.

January 8, 2020
US Senate
16:48 minutes
Optimizing for Engagement: Understanding the Use of Persuasive Technology on Internet Platforms

Tristan Harris testifies in front of the Senate Commerce Committee on how big tech companies use algorithms and machine learning to influence the public and create a “race to the bottom of the brain stem.”

June 25, 2019

Dive Deeper with More Policy Resources

Why the CA Age Appropriate Design Code is Groundbreaking

A bill that requires online platforms to proactively consider how their product design impacts kids and teens in CA.

Learn More
Policy Brief September 2022: State of Global Tech Policy

This policy brief provides an overview of gold standard legislation around the world as of September 2022.

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EU should regulate Facebook & Google as “attention utilities”

The EU can lead the world toward more humane technology by ensuring social media platforms don’t degrade our democracies.

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Collision Conference 2020: Tech, governance and the fate of society as we know it

Tristan Harris and former presidential candidate, Andrew Yang, discuss the impact of tech on society.

Learn More