The new rules, which have been approved by the Federal Trade Commission, require major tech companies to disclose any potential conflicts of interest with their employees, suppliers and contractors and also require companies to keep confidential all financial information on employees.
The companies that don’t comply will be subject to penalties ranging from fines to criminal charges.
The regulations will apply to tech companies that provide services to the government, including federal contractors.
It is the first time that companies have been subject to federal regulations for using technology to influence elections.
It will require that companies disclose any relationships between them and political campaigns or political committees.
The rules also require that the information about such relationships be kept confidential, including for five years.
They also require technology companies to have an independent auditor evaluate their compliance with the new rules and report back to the Commission.
The changes come as the tech sector faces growing scrutiny over its ties to Russian election meddling, with federal investigators probing whether Facebook was part of a Russian effort to influence the 2016 presidential election.
Facebook is now under investigation by Congress for what some in the tech world say is a lack of transparency about the extent of the social network’s involvement.
Facebook says the rules were crafted in consultation with the government and that it is not subject to any obligation to comply with them.
The company has not yet responded to a request for comment.
“We believe that we need to make sure we’re doing the right thing for our customers and for our users, and we’re very transparent about how we’ve been doing it,” said Jeff Jarvis, a spokesman for Facebook.
The new regulations will also require tech companies and their contractors to provide a copy of any contracts they have with federal agencies or that they signed.
They must also keep those contracts confidential for five to 10 years.
The Federal Trade Board will now also oversee how companies are required to disclose their political spending.
Companies that disclose political spending will face penalties ranging $100,000 to $500,000.
The federal government has also asked the Federal Communications Commission to issue rules on how the Internet giants must comply with campaign finance disclosure rules.
It has until July 10 to do so.