Washington – Computer & Communications Industry Association State Director Khara Boender testified this week opposing legislation in Idaho and submitted comments ahead of a hearing on an Iowa bill. The bills in Idaho and Iowa would require that device filters be enabled for any smartphone or tablet activated in each respective state. These proposals are branded as a way to shield minors from accessing potentially harmful material, such as pornography.
While CCIA strongly supports the overall goal of keeping children safe online, requiring a state-specific default filter is technologically infeasible and could give rise to impractical expectations about how it will work. There are many different technologies on the market that parents can use now to decide what content they want their own children to access. CCIA recommended other proposals legislators could consider to achieve the goal of keeping kids safer online such as implementing digital citizenship in K-12 curriculum.
The following can be attributed to CCIA State Policy Director Khara Boender:
“CCIA shares the overall goal of increased privacy and security for younger users online and has concerns about how technically infeasible and sweeping laws could give rise to consumer confusion and costly litigation without providing meaningful protections. There is a broad range of existing tools and settings that parents can use to filter content and tailor online experiences. To date, no state has required a state-specific default filter, and CCIA discourages lawmakers from advancing this untested approach that is likely to create unattainable expectations about the content that filters can reasonably block.
“Parents and guardians have many tools available, including those offered by device manufacturers, to tailor the online experience for their child.”