There’s bipartisan consensus in Washington that the internet is unsafe for children. Sen. Mike Lee in hearings last week:
“It was hair styling videos and innocuous stuff one minute, the next minute, after we followed a famous female celebrity, it changed, and it went dark fast.”
Sen. Marsha Blackburn said parents are tired of Silicon Valley’s promises:
“They continue to hear from you that change is coming, that things are going to be different, that kids are going to be safer online. But nothing changes. Nothing!”
Something that also hasn't changed? Federal regulations around children and internet safety:
“Just about every other year, there's a story about the bipartisan momentum and legislation is moving," Marc Groman says. "And so you'll forgive me for being somewhat pessimistic that in the near future, we'll have something that will have a real effect on this."
Today, On Point: Federal rules on children and online protections haven't changed in more than 20 years. Could now be the time?
Marc Groman, former senior advisor for privacy in the Obama White House and chair of the Federal Privacy Council. He teaches law at Georgetown University and has a consultancy. Co-host of the podcast "Their Own Devices." (@MarcGroman)
Gunes Acar, professor at Radboud University in the Netherlands.
This program aired on December 20, 2021.