(WHTM) — Strict guidelines meant to protect children’s safety and privacy online could be coming soon and the legislation is something that both Republicans and Democrats can agree on.
Lawmakers say this is a way to keep big tech companies accountable and keep kids safe online. A Senate committee is working on two pieces of legislation aimed at protecting children online.
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The Kids Online Safety Act would crack down on sites and apps aimed at kids requiring default settings for children under 16. It also sets rules for how and where children’s data can be shared and limits how much time kids can spend on a platform.
The legislation is co-sponsored by Democrat Richard Blumenthal (CT) and Republican Marsha Blackburn (TN). Parents reached out to both as their concerns over privacy were heightened during the pandemic as they spent more time online.
“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,” Senator Blackburn said.
“It provides them with tools, options safeguards to disable the addictive features, to disarm the algorithms and protect their information,” Senator Blumenthal added.
There are some advocacy groups who are not on board with parts of the legislation, however, like the nonprofit Electronic Frontier Foundation. It says the bills are too heavy-handed and would allow parents to spy and control what their children do online. It believes even children have a right to privacy.