Press Release

Assessing Child Online Safety Legislation

House and Senate lawmakers plan to introduce legislation designed to protect children online, including the Eliminating Abusive and Rampant Neglect of Interactive Technologies (EARN-IT) Act and the Kids Online Safety Act (KOSA), complementing the Making Age Verification Technology Uniform, Robust, and Effective (MATURE) Act introduced in February. In a new insight, Technology and Innovation Policy Analyst Joshua Levine examines how each bill would work and explains why these bills are not likely to substantially improve children’s online safety.

Levine concludes:

Congress designed EARN-IT, KOSA, and MATURE to improve protections for children online, but these bills threaten to exacerbate existing harms and may even create new ones. While protecting children online is an important goal, lawmakers must work to ensure that legislation does not inadvertently expose children to additional harm or unnecessarily erode all users’ online experience. Instead, Congress should more narrowly target areas of concern by passing a federal data privacy standard, as well as evaluating existing digital literacy programs and considering improvements that would enable users to better navigate the benefits and costs presented by online platforms.

Read the analysis