Written by PTC | Published September 15, 2023
Congress is back from the August recess, and with only a few months left to the calendar year, now is the time to call on lawmakers to pass The Kids Online Safety Act (KOSA), and the Children and Teens’ Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA 2.0).
The Kids Online Safety Act would require social media platforms to enable the strongest settings by default, provide minors with options to protect their information, disable addictive product features, and opt out of algorithmic recommendations. The bill also creates a responsibility for social media platforms to prevent and mitigate harms to minors, such as promotion of suicide, eating disorders, substance abuse, sexual exploitation, and unlawful products for minors.
The Children and Teens’ Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA 2.0), is an update to the 1998 law to reflect the realities of today’s digital landscape. Among other provisions, COPPA 2.0 would prohibit internet companies from collecting personal information from users who are 13 to 16 years old without their consent and ban targeted advertising to children and teens. This is all the more important in light of a recent report by Adalytics which showed how Google has been using cookies and identifiers to track viewers of “made for kids” videos.
More and more parents, grandparents, educators and concerned citizens are asking for guardrails around social media borne out of a growing recognition of the toll social media has taken on the mental health of a generation of children. Eight out of ten youth mental health specialists say social media is fueling a mental health crisis.
Your representatives need to hear from you.
Call (202) 224-3121 -- a U.S. Capitol Switchboard operator can connect you directly with your Senators’ offices. Tell your elected representatives to prioritize the health and safety of children online. Tell them to pass meaningful legislation to protect kids online. Urge your senators to support KOSA and COPPA 2.0, and report back to us when you’ve done that.
Let’s get this done. For the children’s sake.