According to a report from Pew this week, a California data privacy law that is set to take effect in 2024 could impact young social media users across the country. The legislation, which will require that all tech companies design their products with children’s “well-being” in mind, would hit Facebook in its home state, potentially ensuring the same changes could be rolled out nationwide. The law will also ban eight common data collection practices, making it much for difficult for Facebook to gather sensitive info on younger users.
OF course, Facebook and many other tech companies are strongly opposed to this measure, which would undoubtedly hurt their financial bottom lines. However, some privacy experts have also warned about unintended consequences of this legislation. For instance, the bill would require Facebook to differentiate between children and adults “with a reasonable level of certainty.” This could require even more invasive data collection practices.
“The tricky part is that [age verification] puts a perverse incentive on companies to collect a lot more data on people — that’s a paradox we run into a lot on kids’ privacy legislation,” said Consumer Reports director of technology policy Justin Brookman. “It’s well-intentioned but counterproductive.”
It will be interesting to see what Facebook does in the coming years to fight this potentially game-changing legislation. But while it may have its flaws, this law is undoubtedly a good thing for children’s’ privacy overall.
Choose what the experts use: award-winning cybersecurity you can trust and rely on.
Surf the web truly incognito. Try Bitdefender Premium VPN, the ultra-fast VPN that keeps your online identity and activities safe from hackers, ISPs and snoops.