A new bill would ban anyone under 16 from using social media


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Below: A judge is said to have shot down the FTC’s Meta-VR suit, and the agency has issued a drug price demand for data release. First:

The purpose is to prevent children from social media

A growing number of policymakers and government officials are banning children and young adults from social media, citing concerns that the platforms are harming them. well-being and mental health. There has been a significant increase in information about the protection of children online, and there has been a focus on putting in place new digital safeguards.

The push came after the US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy told CNN on Tuesday that he believes 13 is “too early” for kids to join apps like Instagram and TikTok, which he said can create a “perverse environment” that “is do bad things” to children.

Since then, other officials including Sen. Michael Bennett (D-Colo.) and the Federal Trade Commission of Alvaro Bedoya or following language support or shared the news on Twitter. Jim Steyera prominent children’s advocate, called the news “important.”

“This is the kind of leadership our federal government needs when it comes to educating the public about the impact of technology on society,” Steyer, whose advocacy group Common Sense Media has close ties to the White House, said in an emailed statement.

Now the movement is stirring up legislation on Capitol Hill: A House Republican on Thursday is introducing a bill to prevent children and teenagers under 16 from using social media.

The bill is one of the most powerful measures to keep children out of the mainstream, going beyond the demands of two narrow groups to set up barriers for children online.

The measure, led by Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah), would require companies to verify users’ ages and allow parents to sue them if they don’t keep those under 16 off their sites. . It also authorizes federal and state agencies to implement the standards.

Demand is high: Although lawmakers have introduced bills to increase restrictions on practices such as targeting ads to users up to 18, few have called for a ban .

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Stewart compared the impact of social media on children and youth to drugs, a ban that is gaining momentum in Washington.

“We protect our children from drinking, smoking and driving. They cannot drive at the age of 12,” he said in an interview. “We need to protect them from the effects of social media.”

Many social media platforms, including TikTok and Twitter, have banned users under 13 from joining, but some like YouTube offer a special service for children, others like Instagram consider launching their own.

These plans have drawn intense scrutiny from child safety advocates and lawmakers on Capitol Hill, who have said they don’t trust companies to protect their children.

Stewart’s proposal opens companies up to liability if they ignore user ratings and risks posing a major challenge for companies that have invested heavily in developing authentication tools that they know will fail. .

Many children and young people do not have symptoms, and some find ways to get involved in the media. At the same time, many platforms have switched to asking users to provide their birthday.

Tech industry leaders have urged lawmakers to help those efforts by creating laws to establish standards or best practices for age certification. Michael BeckermanTikTok’s head of U.S. public policy, told Senate lawmakers in session in 2021 that any effort to reform children’s privacy protections must include “a way like to verify numbers across the internet.”

NetChoice, a trade group that represents social networks including TikTok and Twitter, has backed down from a doctor’s recommendation that 13 is “too early” for children to be on social media, and saying that these decisions should be left to the parents.

“Parents, not the government, not Silicon Valley, know what’s best for their families,” he said. Carl Szabo, NetChoice vice president and general counsel. “Instead of suspecting or trying to follow between parents and their families, the government should provide the tools and education for the good use of this new technology, not make it difficult.”

Business and human rights groups have also warned that blocking children and young people from social media can backfire by taking away access to good digital resources.

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“For many children, especially LGBTQ youth who may not have supportive parents or live in foster care, the internet and social media are lifelines,” he said. Ewan Gray, director of the advocacy group Fight for the Future. “There are serious concerns about the ways in which Big Tech companies do business that are harmful to children, but there needs to be a better solution than simply cutting children off from the online community and educational resources.”

A judge decides to reject the FTC’s request to block Meta’s VR operation

A federal judge in California has cleared a deal by Facebook parent company Meta to buy virtual reality company Within Unlimited, my colleagues. Naomi Nix a Zakrzewski cat report. The decision is “a blow to Democrats’ efforts to decentralize Silicon Valley tech companies,” according to the report.

But in a silver lining for antitrust advocates, “the order upheld some of the FTC’s arguments in its case, including that the acquisition of new companies would harm competition and companies that are not in the market in this time will continue to have influence on the marketplace.”

The decision could shape the way the industry approaches challenges in emerging digital markets. Bloomberg News first reported the judge’s decision.

GoodRx shared user health data with Facebook and Google, the FTC said

The Federal Trade Commission on Wednesday imposed a $1.5 million fine on GoodRx, a drug discount app, for sharing millions of users’ sensitive health information with companies like Facebook and Google and disagreement, Natasha Singer articles for the New York Times.

In its complaint, the FTC said GoodRx’s use of tracking tools and other information-sharing practices to identify users’ social media accounts for drug promotion campaigns is subject to federal law that requests health applications to notify customers of cyber security violations and not disclose their data to third parties.

The app, which is used to find lower prices on prescriptions such as antidepressants, HIV drugs and treatments for sexually transmitted diseases, said it did not accept the regulator’s allegations from 2017 but agreed to settle the case to avoid trial.

If the judge approves the settlement, GoodRx will be prohibited from disclosing users’ health information for advertising purposes. This case is the first time the commission has issued its Health Information Act. It comes at a time when the FTC is cracking down on health and safety privacy, especially in states that have moved to ban or restrict access to abortions.

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Amazon has three new security issues related to warehouse breaches

The US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced the information on Wednesday about Amazon after conducting inspections at three warehouses in Colorado, Idaho and New York, the Wall Street Journal’s Sebastian Herrera report.

“The agency said Amazon has exposed workers to a high rate of injuries and illnesses related to muscles at the sites because of the workers’ fast handling of packages and long hours. needed to complete the work,” according to the report.

“Amazon’s operating practices are creating unsafe work practices and procedures, leading to serious worker injuries,” Doug Parker, assistant secretary for occupational safety and health, said in a statement. in a written statement.

Kelly Nantel, a spokesperson for Amazon, said in a statement written to the Wall Street Journal that the company is very concerned about the safety and health of its employees and does not believe that the government’s allegations show the reliability of security in Amazon sites. (Amazon founder Jeff Bezos owned by The Washington Post.)

Meta stuns Street with low prices, high sales, good sales (Reuters)

US investors have plowed billions into China’s AI sector, according to a report (Reuters)

OpenAI to Release New Version of ChatGPT for $20 Monthly Fee (New York Times)

Palantir CEO Says Silicon Valley Products Have ‘Failed’ to Improve the World (Bloomberg)

Google Fi says consumer data compromised hackers (The Verge)

This software tries to detect lung cancer years earlier. Is it possible? (Pranshu Verma)

  • The US Chamber of Commerce will hold its first meeting on Digital Transformation on Thursday at 10 a.m.
  • The German Marshall Fund will host a forum on foreign policy on technology on Thursday at 10:30 a.m.

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