The Common Sense Tech Agenda: Healthy and Equitable Tech for U.S. Kids, Families and Democracy

Common Sense Media
Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Common Sense, the nation's leading nonprofit dedicated to improving the lives of kids and families in the digital age, has long championed stronger protections for children and students’ privacy, pushed for better connectivity for students and families, and sought to hold tech companies accountable to ensure a healthy internet. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, years of unchecked growth by Big Tech and harmful online practices impacting our kids and our democracy, and a new administration, now is the moment to ensure that tech is a force for equity and opportunity for all families. Common Sense’s tech agenda includes:

Hold Social Media Platforms Accountable to Protect Kids and our Democracy

  • Section 230 Reform: At the federal level, reform Section 230 to require stronger content moderation to protect children, families, and our democracy.

  • Curb Harmful Experiences and Inappropriate Content: Limit kids’ exposure to racism, hatred, harassment, violence, and inappropriate ads.

  • Healthy and Safe Internet: Establish guardrails to ensure high quality online content and safe experiences that support kids emotional well-being.

Protect Privacy for Children, Families and all Consumers

  • Comprehensive Privacy Law: Establish strong and clear privacy protections for children, families and consumers, with a comprehensive national privacy law that guarantees special protections for vulnerable children and teens. 

  • Student Privacy: Protect student privacy and ensure that school zones are privacy zones, wherever young people are learning.

  • Enforcement: Significantly strengthen federal enforcement powers and resources and establish a new federal privacy enforcement agency.

Ensure Market Competition and Diverse Choices for Kids and Families 

  • Antitrust: Address the unchecked power of social media giants by applying and enforcing antitrust laws, including breaking companies up when necessary. 

Promote Tech Equity: Close the Digital Divide for Good

  • Broadband Infrastructure: Fund major infrastructure investment to ensure universal deployment of broadband networks able to meet the needs of distance learning and other basic family needs and services including jobs and health care. 

  • Affordable Access and Devices: Fund a sustained commitment to broadband service and devices capable of distance learning to students and teachers.

  • Digital Citizenship and Inclusion: Comprehensive digital literacy and inclusion support for students, teachers, and parents.

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About Common Sense
Common Sense is the nation's leading nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of kids and families by providing the trustworthy information, education, and independent voice they need to thrive in the 21st century. Learn more at commonsense.org.

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