A full recording of this webinar is available on FOSI’s YouTube channel. View it here.
On September 21st, the Family Online Safety Institute hosted a FOSI Briefs the Hill webinar on Congressional Action on Online Safety and Privacy Bills. Congress recently advanced two online privacy bills and one online safety bill out of their relevant committees - COPPA 2.0, the ADPPA, and KOSA. This webinar provided an overview of each bill as well as a robust discussion about the strengths, challenges, potential implications, and unintended consequences of each from a variety of expert voices. The panel featured Adam Kovacevich of the Chamber of Progress, Lauren Merk of the Future of Privacy Forum, Jamie Susskind from the Office of Senator Marsha Blackburn, and was moderated by Andrew Zack of FOSI.
Panelists explored the three bills and their goals: updating existing privacy protections for kids; creating new comprehensive data privacy protections for all Americans; and establishing a new online safety standard. Specifically, they discussed increasing online protections for teens while also giving young people more control and agency, prioritizing safety and privacy by design, installing a duty of care for platforms to protect young users, and the role that age assurance has in online safety and privacy. Each panelist felt encouraged by specific aspects of the proposed legislation, but noted areas where more clarification or improvement could be made.
The panel also discussed the laws of states and other countries, and how Congress can learn from the online safety work in these other jurisdictions. Some panelists praised the design of the UK’s risk-based Age Appropriate Design Code and others acknowledged that this code served as a model when drafting their own legislation. The speakers also considered potential downfalls of a state-by-state, country-by-country patchwork of laws and regulations for a space as borderless as the Internet.
The panelists acknowledged the difficulties of passing such significant laws through a divided Congress, yet remained optimistic about the future. They also noted the recent work of the White House, FTC, and state Attorneys General in online safety policy. Finally, panelists reminded us that the online privacy and safety policy space is active, exciting, and more important than ever before.