This Week’s Senate Hearings on Child Online Safety Underscore Need for A Higher Standard of Care For Online Privacy
Senate hearings this week brought 5 key tech executives to Washington including Meta, Snap, Discord, X and TikTok to answer questions about harmful data collection and manipulation of children’s online experiences. At the center of the heated arguments was the push to support the Kids Online Safety Act (KOSA), with the objective to “Protect the safety of children on the internet.” KOSA, originally sponsored by Senators Blumenthal (D-Connecticut) and Blackburn (R- Tennessee), has garnered bipartisan support and boasts 44 additional sponsors.
The hearing was both contentious and emotional. Two issues took center stage: child safety, and the harm that oversharing and using highly targeted data can lead to tragic outcomes. Families with pictures of their children who had suffered harm or worse because of social media were in the audience. Zuckerberg in particular was the focus of this inquiry. He addressed the families directly.
The hearing was critically important for raising awareness and putting privacy and child safety front and center, and more regulatory enforcement will surely follow, particularly from state AGs who are doing the lion share of the heavy lifting to define and enforce privacy laws in the US.
It was also abundantly clear that over-collecting/sharing and selling of our children’s data must stop now. So what should companies do to protect the data privacy of their underage website visitors, and really all of their customers for that matter?
While we can’t fix the algorithms, the regulators will have to enforce that, we can address the fuel that that engine feeds on, vast volumes of private data that is collected, sold and overshared.
At LOKKER, we developed advanced privacy technology to address these concerns and are working with consumer brands, healthcare companies, video game companies, and other content providers to ensure that they are not inadvertently collecting and sharing information about children with unauthorized third parties. LOKKER has aligned its privacy SaaS toolset with the 5 main tenets of KOSA:
- Duty of Care
- Transparency & Controls
- Default Protections
- Independent Audits & Research
- Enforcement & Support
With LOKKER’s Privacy Edge, organizations are implementing tools to audit, report, and automatically block the sharing of childrens’ data, in conjunction with the age verification and parental authorization strategies they employ.
“While content providers and social media networks that cater to younger audiences work through the challenges of age gating, which are numerous, LOKKER is able to provide safeguards today that raise the standard of care companies can use to safeguard data collection and sharing to third parties by monitoring, detecting and blocking unauthorized data collection in real time.” remarked Ian Cohen, CEO and Founder of LOKKER.
LOKKER (www.lokker.com) is a data privacy software company that stops unauthorized data collection and sharing on websites. Lokker enables enterprises to operate their websites without running afoul of a rapidly evolving patchwork of data privacy laws and enforcement actions. We give companies complete visibility and control over 3rd party cloud applications, website trackers and ad tech so they can protect their customer privacy in real time without jeopardizing website functionality.
Lokker frequently helps companies facing legal actions despite best efforts. The existing tools, like asking consumers for consent, are not enough to control the supply chain in the ad tech ecosystem. Lokker was built to help businesses avoid these privacy risks before they happen.
See more information here or on Lokker.com.
For more information about LOKKER’S privacy solutions, contact us here.