US bipartisan lawmakers jointly proposed a new bill to protect minors from the harmful influence of social media. The act requires anyone under the age of 18 to obtain parental consent when using a social media platform. In addition, the bill prohibits social media platforms from using algorithms to push content to minors and sets the minimum age for using social media at 13. The bill would also establish a pilot program for new age-verified credentials that would allow users to provide highly secure proof of identity based on government-issued documents when signing up to social media platforms.
New bill was introduced against the background of similar actions being taken by states in the United States. Laws in some states, such as one in Utah, would allow parents to view private information about their children, raising concerns among some civil groups that it could put children at greater risk depending on their family circumstances middle. Senators Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas), Chris Murphy (D-Connecticut) and Katie Britt (R-Alabama) New proposals backed by New York Times would give parents across the country deep control over their children’s use of social networking services such as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and others, and many parents have pleaded with lawmakers to give them more tools to protect their children. Kids online safety. Although some feel that parents are too burdened to monitor the unruly platform.
In addition to requiring parental consent for children to use social media, the bill requires the companies to “take reasonable steps” to verify a user’s age, rather than simply requiring proof. This could raise privacy concerns since it would be difficult to confirm a user’s age without some sort of government ID or facial scan. The bill says that “existing age verification technology” should be taken into account and information collected for age verification should not be used for other purposes. While age-verification tools remain limited, the bill also aims to expand them with a pilot program exploring free “secure digital identity” credentials for U.S. citizens. The project, run by the Department of Commerce, will seek to create a new, highly secure credential tool based on government-issued documents that, once issued, could be used to verify the age of users who sign up to social media platforms, or that they interact with underage users parent/guardian relationship.
Once the bill was announced, it was immediately attacked by NetChoice, a tech-backed industry group. The group, which has sued the state of California over its age-appropriate design law, said in a statement that the bill “would require massive and widespread data collection and retention, undermining the privacy and security of Americans. It would also deprive parents of Constitutional rights that prevent them from deciding what is best for their children online.”