WASHINGTON (Nexstar) — Congress is working to implement stricter guidelines to protect children’s safety and privacy online.
Senators say big tech and social media companies are a danger to our children.
“Using its black box algorithms to drive destructive content to children. Content about the self-harm, substance abuse, bullying, addiction,” said Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.).
On Wednesday, a Senate committee worked on two pieces of legislation aimed at protecting children online. The Kids Online Safety Act is co-sponsored by Blumenthal and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.).
The Senators worked with parents who told them they became more concerned about their children’s online privacy and safety when the pandemic hit.
“They began to see that the enemy wasn’t always outside the home, many times it was inside the four walls of the home and it was coming at their child off of a device,” Blackburn said.
The bill would crack down on sites and apps aimed at kids, requiring default settings for children under 16, setting rules for how and where children’s data can be shared and limiting how much time kids can spend on a platform.
It would also give parents and minors more control.
“It provides them with tools, options safeguards to disable the addictive features, to disarm the algorithms and protect their information,” Blumenthal said.
A third bill, the American Data Privacy Protection Act, would enact stricter privacy protection rules for children and adults. All of the bills have bipartisan support.