Provider groups and privacy advocates have joined together to put pressure on Congress to pass two bipartisan bills designed to bolster children and teens’ privacy.
The Kids Online Safety Act (S. 3663) and the Children and Teens’ Online Privacy Protection Act (S. 1628) were both passed out of the Senate subcommittee with bipartisan support. That’s a real feat these days.
According to a letter urging Senators Charles Schumer and Mitch McConnell to advance these bills to the Senate floor this fall, the bills have “the potential to significantly improve young people’s wellbeing by transforming the digital environment for children and teens.” The letter outlines the stark effect online activities have on children and teens, backed by scientific publications. According to the advocates, which include the American Psychological Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics, evidence “is abundantly clear of the potential severe impacts social media platforms can have on the brain development and mental health of our nation’s youth, including hazardous substance use, eating disorders, and self-harm.”
The summary of the findings outlined in the letter is sobering and worth a read. The letter was signed by 145 organizations. I am calling my Senators’ offices voicing my support for the bills and asking them to urge Senators Schumer and McConnell to advance the bills during the fall session. If you support these bills, you may wish to let your Senators know as well.