Bill That Would Push For Online ID Checks Is Scheduled For Markup This Week

The Senate Commerce Committee will convene on Thursday to deliberate the contentious Kids Online Safety Act, a bill that, if passed, would cause platforms to introduce ID verification for users and significantly reduce privacy online. Despite the law’s admirable aims to regulate the way online platforms display content and ads to under-17s, its implementation could potentially jeopardize privacy, with platforms potentially needing to introduce ID checks. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut) and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee) initially relaunched the bill in May. The law calls for online platforms to adopt “reasonable measures” to mitigate the known risks associated with underage users engaging with social media platforms, such as online bullying, depression, and eating disorders. We obtained a copy of the bill for you here. However, the enforcement of such measures would likely necessitate stricter ID verification to identify the age of users, raising valid privacy concerns. Ironically, the act calls for the highest levels of privacy protection settings for teens and compels platforms to disclose all commercial endorsements. Platforms advertising to minors would also be required to provide clear labeling on all ads, clarify why specific ads are targeted at minors, and make all commercial endorsements transparent. These provisions, while designed to protect, could ironically lead to invasive scrutiny of minors’ online activity. In a break from tradition, the proposed law would not mandate parental consent for teens using social media, but it would require platforms to inform parents about their children’s account activities. This move, intended to protect young users, also…Bill That Would Push For Online ID Checks Is Scheduled For Markup This Week