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California lawmakers introduce two children’s social media safety bills

This week, California Attorney General Rob Bonta, Senator Nancy Skinner (D-Berkely)  and Assemblymember Buffy Wicks (D-Oakland) introduced the Protecting Youth from Social Media Addiction Act (SB 976) and the California Children’s Data Privacy Act (AB 1949). 

According to the Attorney General’s Office, these new bills would address the harms of social media addiction and provide more data privacy protections for children. 

 “As kids and young adults increasingly socialize, learn, and work online, we must create a safer online space for children to learn, explore, and play….The two bills we are announcing today take an important step toward that goal by strengthening data privacy protections for minors and safeguarding youth against social media addiction,” said Attorney General Rob Bonta.

SB 976 would give parents the choice to turn off their children’s algorithmic feed. The bill proposes that algorithmic feeds are highly addictive and could cause mental health harms like anxiety and depression to children. This bill would also give parents the option to halt social media notifications and access at night and during school hours. 

AB 1949 would strengthen children’s data privacy protections under the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). This bill would prevent social media platforms and businesses from collecting, selling or sharing the personal data of people under the age of 18 unless consent is given. Children under the age of 13 would need parental consent. A violation of this law would cost social media platforms and businesses up to $5,000. 

News Channel 3’s Tatum Larsen will be speaking with a local school therapist for more how these new bills could mitigate the harms associated with children’s social media usage. 

Watch News Channel 3 at 4 p.m., 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. for more information. 

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Tatum Larsen


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