Lobbying against online safety bill: Tech companies spent $1.5m for this purpose

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Lobbying against online safety bill: Tech companies spent $1.5m for this purpose

It is concerning that Meta and Google spend large amounts of money against bills that are designed to save the online privacy of children. These major tech companies spent nearly $1.5 million. According to some recent reports, most of the different technology industries have poured  $1.23 million into lobbying lawmakers in Albany, New York. 

The main purpose of the bill that they oppose is the safety of children’s data. Its aim is to stop collecting and selling data especially for those children that are under 18. It is worrying to see such powerful companies prioritize their interests over the safety and privacy of young users.

Two types of acts are expected for the future. One is the SAFE Act for Kids and the other is New York Child Data Protection Act. Both of these acts are important in order to save the children’s online presence. These bills, which have bipartisan support, aim to stop the exploitation of kids through addictive online feeds.

Well many tech companies are trying hard and hard to oppose the bill and to stop these bills from passing. They have been investing huge amounts of money on lobbying campaigns. The purpose of this campaign is to  block the legislation or weaken its impact. By mid-March, these tech firms and their allies had already spent over $1 million on lobbying efforts, as revealed by public disclosures. 

This is the clear indicator of how determined they are to keep their interests protected, even if it means opposing laws designed to safeguard children.

According to the New York Post “This is an astonishing amount of money to be spent to kill two reasonable bills.” 

One of the crucial step that protect the children online presence is the SAFE Act. According to this Act children see only those posts in social media platforms that their parents allow. This gives parents more control over what their children are exposed to on these platforms.

Additionally, the bill empowers parents to set time limits on their kids’ social media use and manage in-app notifications, helping to reduce screen time and distractions.

The second Act is also important. This Act works to prevent the collection and selling data of users under 18 without consent. The parent consent would be important especially for those children under 13. This law would help safeguard kids’ privacy and keep their data secure.

Tech companies oppose the law and argue that these Act could limit freedom of speech. Furthermore, it can also  reduce online privacy for teenagers, restrict internet access for migrants, and hinder algorithms designed to combat hate speech. However, these concerns seem exaggerated.

A spokesperson from Meta side mentioned that parental consent should be for children who are under 16 to download apps but against state-specific laws. According to them different state laws would lead to inconsistent online experiences for teens and their parents.

As Meta continues to collaborate with New York lawmakers, it’s important to avoid quick fixes and instead focus on creating laws that genuinely empower parents and support teens online.

The current push by tech giants to influence legislation is crucial, especially given similar efforts in Australia. The South Australian government is also concerned about their children’s safety. They plan to ban the social media platform for children under 14. For those children that are under 15 and 16 need their parents permission in order to use the social media apps. It is a commendable step to secure the privacy of youngsters. 

It’s also encouraging to see the federal government moving forward with an age verification trial to prevent children from accessing content that is not good for them. The main aim of all of these measures is to make a safe online environment for children. 

Additionally, the creation of a new Parliamentary Select Committee to examine the impact of social media on Australian society is significant. This committee will investigate how algorithms and corporate decisions influence what we see online. This step promotes greater transparency and accountability.

So there is a legal battle between Elon Musk’s platform, X, and the Federal safety Commissioner. The main purpose of the battle is to block all violent videos that are harmful for children who are under 18. These Act are compulsory to provide an effective online environment and also to protect the online presence of children. 

Research Staff

Research Staff

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