Washington – The Computer & Communications Industry Association sent a letter to Pennsylvania state legislators ahead of a potential vote on a bill aimed at improving teens’ mental health but unfortunately would introduce other adverse consequences, including infringing on teens’ First Amendment rights and impeding their access to information and communities of support.
CCIA supports enhanced privacy protections for younger users online, but has concerns about additional data collection requirements and an influx of lawsuits any time someone sees something online that they don’t like.
CCIA also encourages lawmakers to ensure any proposed protections do not inadvertently prevent users from accessing information and communities of support.
The following can be attributed to CCIA State Policy Manager Jordan Rodell:
“Digital services are working everyday to protect all internet users from all sorts of lawful but awful content online and use their role as content moderators to create online spaces where all users would like to be. When parents and younger users jointly discuss which sites and online content is appropriate, this avoids putting companies in the untenable position of making broad decisions of what is suitable for all users. Protecting children from online harm should not create a generalized power to restrict what ideas to which they are exposed.
“A bill like this, however well-intended, is likely to introduce new issues and harms by risking teens’ access to supportive communities.”