Sat. May 25th, 2024

Democrat Spreading the Word about Age-Verification Bill on Social Media Before Important Hearing

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell May23,2024

Rep. Jake Auchincloss (D-Mass.) urged the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Tuesday to consider age-verification requirements for social media ahead of the panel’s hearing on data privacy and kids’ online safety legislation.

The Democratic lawmaker pointed to his own legislation, the Verifying Kids’ Online Privacy Act, which would require social media to develop methods of verifying users’ ages to ensure compliance with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).

“Requiring age verification would constitute a critical step in ensuring that companies uphold the protections included in COPPA, as well as any future data privacy and child safety legislation the Committee may consider,” Auchincloss wrote in a letter to Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) and Ranking Member Frank Pallone (D-N.J.).

COPPA currently requires certain protections for children under 13, which has prompted many social media companies to bar children under 13 from using their services. 

However, Auchincloss noted that these companies “often simply ask users to input their birthday when creating an account, which is easy for underage users to work around.”

His legislation would raise COPPA’s protections from 13 to 16 and require some form of age verification.

“Importantly, this legislation would not require a specific age verification method, but would allow for companies to design a privacy-protective method that fits their platform, while still requiring those companies to submit these processes to the Federal Trade Commission to be considered for COPPA’s existing safe harbor provisions,” Auchincloss wrote.

However, age verification laws, which have been passed in several states, have faced legal challenges from groups, like the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), who argue that the requirements could chill the speech of adults. 

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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2 thoughts on “Democrat Spreading the Word about Age-Verification Bill on Social Media Before Important Hearing”
  1. Do you think raising the COPPA protections to 16 and implementing age verification processes are feasible measures for social media platforms to enhance children’s online safety?

    1. Implementing age verification processes and raising COPPA protections to 16 are necessary steps to ensure children’s online safety. It’s crucial for social media platforms to prioritize user age verification for compliance with data privacy laws.

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