STATEMENT: PDE Action Supports Kids Online Safety Act

May 13, 2024

The online safety of America’s children is a vital and pressing issue. Our partner organization, Parents Defending Education, has conducted polling showing that this issue is a major concern of parents, with 82% reporting that they are concerned about the influence Big Tech has over their children. In addition, 60% of parents believe that social media has a negative impact on their children.

These concerns are not unsubstantiated, and kids’ online safety is vulnerable while at school as well. A recent study found that 96% of web applications used in school settings expose student data to third parties. Additionally, hackers have increasingly targeted schools and have held sensitive student data hostage for ransom payments. 

It is essential that we keep our children safe in an increasingly online world.

The bipartisan Kids Online Safety Act, introduced by Representatives Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), Kathy Castor (D-FL), Erin Houchin (R-IN), and Kim Schrier (D-WA) creates necessary protections for kids and increases transparency and choice for parents. The bill is a counterpart to the Senate’s Kids Online Safety Act introduced by Sens. Blackburn and Blumenthal last year, and is designed to reduce access to harmful sites, increasing requirements for Big Tech companies to increase security settings and reporting requirements on harm to minors, and empowers parents to have more control over the content their children have access to.

PDE Action applauds the bipartisan group who have brought forward this legislation, and supports its timely passage in support of protecting America’s children in and out of the classroom.

A summary of the bill provided by Rep. Bilirakis is available here. The full text of the bill is available here