Representative Maxwell Frost (D-FL) on stage with the pop-punk band Paramore
In an email to constituents raising concerns about KOSA, Representative Frost writes, “Proposals that involve filtering or identification requirements on sites, like the Kids Online Safety Act (KOSA), would have unintended consequences that undermine our goal of an enriching and educational Internet experience and far outweigh their benefits. They jeopardize kids’ privacy through increased data collection and promote inappropriate parental surveillance which can keep children experiencing domestic abuse from seeking help. Governor DeSantis has championed these policies as a way to censor LGBTQ+ content, like LGBTQ+ mental health resources and HIV prevention information, that can be essential to kids’ well being.”
Representative Frost is absolutely right, and his comments are in line with what human rights, free expression, civil liberties, and civil rights experts have been saying for months. There is tremendous urgency around holding Big Tech companies accountable, but KOSA is not the solution.
Representative Frost goes on to say, “Instead, I support proposals that shape the underlying design of online services commonly used by kids, including social media and video game platforms, to better serve them. These include requiring providers to default to the highest privacy setting possible for minors; ending algorithms that push children toward inappropriate content; using clear, concise language that kids can understand for terms of service; and further limiting and securing the collection of children’s data. We deserve an internet that works for all of us, especially kids.”
Fight for the Future has long called for strong Federal data privacy legislation, a ban on the use of personal data to power recommendation algorithms, and an end to manipulative design features like auto play, infinite scroll, and intrusive notifications. Representative Frost rightly points out that there are many things we can do to crack down on Big Tech abuses without empowering extreme right wing attorneys general to attack trans kids and censor content they don’t like. We hope other members of Congress will join him in speaking out against misguided legislation like KOSA, so that we can work together toward meaningful legislation that addresses the harms of Big Tech without throwing marginalized kids and human rights under the bus.