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Youth Social Media Bills in CA, NY; States Receive Failing Grades for Data Privacy Laws & More

February 06, 2024 (2 min read)

CA, NY Target Social Media Addictive Feeds, Youth Data Collection

California Attorney General Rob Bonta (D), Sen. Nancy Skinner (D), and Assemblymember Buffy Wicks (D) introduced a pair of bills last month aimed at protecting youth online.

SB 976 would allow parents of users under 18 decide whether they receive a chronological feed from users they follow or an algorithmic feed, the current default. The measure would also allow parents and guardians to halt social media notifications and block access to platforms during school or nighttime hours.

AB 1949 would amend the California Consumer Privacy Act to prohibit businesses from selling or sharing the personal data of anyone under the age of 18 without the consent of that individual or their parent or guardian.

The California bills mirror legislation introduced by New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D), Attorney General Letitia James (D), Sen. Andrew Gounardes (D) and Assemblywoman Nily Rozic (D) earlier in the month: the Stop Addictive Feeds Exploitation (SAFE) for Kids Act and the New York Child Data Protection Act (AB 8805/SB 8305). (CALIFORNIA ATTORNEY GENERAL, PLURIBUS NEWS, LEXISNEXIS STATE NET)

State Consumer Data Privacy Laws Fail to Protect Consumers

Nearly half of the 14 states that have passed consumer data privacy laws in recent years received failing grades in an analysis of those laws by the Electronic Privacy Information Center and U.S. PIRG Education Fund. The highest grade, given to California, was a B+. All of the laws except California’s “closely follow a model that was initially drafted by industry giants such as Amazon” and "largely fail to adequately protect consumers,” the groups state. (ELECTRONIC PRIVACY INFORMATION CENTER)

UT Lawmakers Seek to Hasten Filtering of Explicit Content on Children’s Electronic Devices

The Utah Senate’s Judiciary, Law Enforcement, Criminal Justice committee approved a bill (SB 104) last week that would require smartphones or tablets to automatically enable a filter preventing access to explicit material when the devices are activated by a minor. The state passed similar legislation (HB 72) in 2021, but it won’t take effect unless five other states enact similar measures. (DESERET NEWS)

Google Pushing Text Messaging Standards in States

Google is backing state legislation that would require smartphones’ preloaded texting applications to include encryption and other features. Almost identical measures in Iowa (SSB 3106), Ohio (HB 357), Oklahoma (SB 1949) and Wisconsin (AB 568) would also require that photos or video sent via text message remain at their original quality and not be degraded. (PLURIBUS NEWS)

—Compiled by SNCJ Managing Editor KOREY CLARK

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