Legislators Don't Want Start Ups To Pass By Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania lawmakers are working hard to make sure that the state doesn't miss out on the growth of start-up companies, especially those in the technology sector. Despite the bipartisan interest in setting ground rules for social media companies, legislators are finding it challenging to reach a consensus due to concerns about privacy and other issues that don't align neatly along party lines.

In recent months, the Pennsylvania Legislature has debated bills that would require disclosure of artificial intelligence-generated images, ban TikTok from state-owned phones, and require monitoring of minors' social media. These debates highlight the balancing act legislators are trying to achieve between protecting young people and respecting privacy rights.

State Rep. Brian Munroe, a Democrat from Bucks County, has proposed a bill that would require social media companies to verify users' ages and obtain parental consent before anyone 16 or younger opens an account. The bill would also allow parents to restrict how much their children use an app by allowing parents to view their kids' privacy settings or set time limits on an account's use.

The proposed law would also prohibit the collection or sale of a minor's browsing history, require that such users opt in to algorithmic recommendations, and make it unlawful for a social media network to "intentionally, knowingly, recklessly or negligently cause or encourage a minor to access content which the social media company knows or should have known subjects one or more minors to harm."

However, the bill has faced opposition from the Pennsylvania chapter of the ACLU, which argued that the bill would "invite parental surveillance," define harm in "broad, subjective, and unenforceable ways," and "likely have dire consequences for young people."

Despite these challenges, Pennsylvania lawmakers remain committed to creating an environment that attracts and supports start-up companies. They believe that with the right regulations in place, the state can become a hub for technological innovation and growth.

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