California bills aim to provide safeguards for children who use social media


SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KABC) — Two new California bills look to improve children’s safety online.

On Monday, Attorney General Rob Bonta introduced the Protecting Youth from Social Media Addiction and California Children’s Data Privacy Acts that would limit the danger linked to social media addiction.

“Social media companies unfortunately show us time and time again that they’re all too willing to ignore the detriment to our children, the pain to our children; mental health and physical health challenges that they face in order to pursue profits,” Bonta said.

He said the addiction bill put parents in control of what their kids see online.

It provides an option on the type of content that is fed to children.

“One of the key approaches it takes is that it provides a chronological feed with more organic experiences for content for our children online,” he said.

Also, a new default setting will not allow kids to receive social media notifications between midnight and 6 a.m.

“Parents can also identify other spaces and periods of time where they don’t want to have notification for example if there’s a designated period of time where children are doing homework,” Bonta said.

Under the California Children’s Data Privacy Act, personal information of children cannot be collected or sold by businesses.

Bonta said, “For any data for an individual under 18 that it only be collected, used and disclosed with affirmative authorization from the young person and if it’s a user under 13 the affirmative authorization has to come from a parent.”

He believes the new online protections are a first of its kind in the country.

He said companies could face civil penalties for violating these new rules.

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