There are a number of bills on both the federal and state level that have the potential to create strong, effective online protections for children and teens. Learn more about these essential bills below.
Kids Online Safety Act
Kids Online Safety Act (KOSA)
This legislation (S. 3663) from Senators Richard Blumenthal and Marsha Blackburn would require online platforms to prioritize the wellbeing and best interests of children while designing their products.
The bill would:
– Establish a “duty of care” for online providers, requiring them to eliminate or mitigate the impact of harmful content on their platforms;
– Require platforms to have the strongest, most protective settings on by default for minors;
– Give parents more tools to protect their children’s privacy, restrict purchases and track their time on a platform;
– Require social media platforms to perform an annual independent audit that assesses risks and whether the platform is taking meaningful steps to prevent harms to minors;
– Expand enforcement tools for FTC and state attorneys general;
– Provide researchers and nonprofit organizations access to “black box” algorithms to assist in research on algorithmic harms to children and teens.
Children and Teens’ Online Privacy Protection Act (S. 1628)
This bipartisan legislation (S.1628) from Senators Ed Markey and Bill Cassidy would:
– Expand privacy protections to teens for the first time, establishing a “Digital Marketing Bill of Rights for Teens” that limits the collection of personal information;
– Expand protections for children under 13, including banning surveillance advertising and placing a greater responsibility on companies to get parental consent before collecting any data from a child;
– Create an “eraser button” to make it easier for parents and teens to delete a minor’s information from a website or app;
– Establish a Youth Marketing and Privacy division at the FTC.
Protecting the Information of our Vulnerable Adolescents, Children and Youth Act (PRIVACY) (HR 4801)
This legislation (H.R. 4801) from Representative Kathy Castor would expand on the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act and incorporate key elements of the UK’s Age Appropriate Design Code.
The bill would:
– Require sites “likely to be accessed by children and teens” to make the best interests of young people a primary design consideration and conduct regular risk assessments;
– Establish a Youth Marketing and Privacy division at the FTC;
– Ban harmful uses of children’s data, including prohibiting all data-driven surveillance advertising to anyone under the age of 18;
– Allow parents to sue on behalf of their children if their privacy rights were violated.
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