Congress Is Being Told They Have To Listen To These Parents

Parents Push For A Online Safety Bill

Parents Push For A Online Safety Bill

( – Parents who lost children to dangers lurking on social media are asking Congress to pass two bills as soon as possible. They want lawmakers to support both the Children and Teens’ Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and Kids Online Safety Act (KOSA), which they feel will improve app transparency and add further safeguards to make online activities safe for users of all ages.

COPPA, introduced by Senator Edward J. Markey (D-MA), would amend the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 to prohibit apps and other websites from using any minor’s personal information for any purpose whatsoever. Language in the previous version failed to include online and mobile applications and used the vague terms “child” and “children,” which the new bill would amend to “minor child” and “minor children.” KOSA would also limit the types of advertising directed at minors, strictly controlling language and the usage of cartoons or other appealing images in inappropriate content.

KOSA defines “minor” as anyone 16 years old or younger. The bipartisan bill, introduced by Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), aims to strengthen online protections for some of its most vulnerable users. It introduces language to hold platforms and applications accountable for cyberbullying, suicide culture, or dangerous “challenges.” It would also protect children against sexual exploitation, sales of drugs and products illegal specifically to minors, and predatory marketing practices.

The Hill reports both bills enjoy bipartisan support, although lawmakers might not agree on some of the proposed privacy updates. Supporters of the legislation hope to see both measures passed before the end of the lame-duck session or when newly elected members of Congress take their seats in 2023.

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