Efforts to enact social media age verification legislation aimed at minors’ social media protection from online risks have remained stagnant in a U.S. Senate committee for over two months.
SOCIAL MEDIA PROTECTION BILL FACES SETBACKS IN PROGRESS
The proposed Protecting Kids on Social Media Act, brought by Sen. Brian Schatz of Hawaii, pursuits to promote social media protection, requiring verification for social media users and address child safety and mental health, but its development has been stalled in the committee in charge. The social media protection bill, co-sponsored by Senators from both parties, amplifies the vulnerability of minors on social media, which is a primary motivation for introducing the social media protection legislation. Under the proposed social media protection bill, platforms would be required to implement age verification measures, which then prohibits children under 13 from using these platforms, besides for limited content viewing without logging in or interacting with other users.
SOCIAL MEDIA PROTECTION BILL AIMS TO STRENGTHEN USER PROTECTION AND PILOT SECURE DIGITAL IDENTIFICATION PROGRAM
To ensure effective age verification, social media platforms would need to employ reliable technology beyond self-reporting, potentially utilizing methods like uploading government-issued identification. Additionally, the social media protection bill proposes the establishment of a “Pilot Program” that offers secure digital identification credentials to eligible citizens at no cost. Furthermore, the legislation on social media protection seeks to restrict social media platforms from using personal data of individuals under 18 for algorithmic recommendations, permitting such recommendations and advertisements only based on context related to the content viewed by the individual. While the bill encompasses various protective measures, it currently awaits further progress in the Senate committee.