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KOSA & APRA Leave Americans With a False Sense of Privacy & Safety If Passed

WASHINGTON—Today, the U.S. House Energy & Commerce Committee will mark up two bills that have significant ramifications for Americans of all ages’ internet experience, the deceptively-titled “Kids Online Safety Act” (KOSA) and the American Privacy Rights Act (APRA)

Protecting online privacy and keeping children safe are vitally important, but the proposed bills up for review today will fail to accomplish those goals—leaving Americans with a false sense of safety and security if passed. 

“Despite our opposition to these proposals, NetChoice remains committed to working with policymakers to address online safety and data privacy concerns through constitutional, effective and pragmatic measures that benefit all Americans,” said Carl Szabo, NetChoice Vice President & General Counsel. “Let’s work together to find solutions that keep kids safe and secure American data while upholding the constitutional rights of every American and fostering innovation, competition, and access to valuable online resources.”

Regarding the misleadingly titled KOSA, NetChoice firmly believes this bill raises significant constitutional and privacy problems for Americans while taking away authority from parents. Further, these types of laws are being litigated and held at the state level by NetChoice due to various courts recognizing these serious concerns. Here are some quotes specifically on KOSA from Szabo:

  • “While we share the goal of keeping kids safe in the digital space, KOSA’s specific approach raises significant constitutional concerns and risks infringing on the rights of all Americans.”
  • “Multiple court rulings and nonpartisan reports have echoed these constitutional concerns.” 
  • “KOSA also takes away authority from parents and guardians to decide their child’s online experience and puts it into the hands of political bureaucrats at the FTC to regulate and control the biggest disseminators of online speech in favor of the government’s preferred narrative.”
  • “If passed, KOSA would lead to the mass collection of personal data on all Americans, children and adults alike, raising serious privacy concerns and countering the stated goals of APRA, the other bill being considered in this markup.” 
  • Instead of advancing proposals like KOSA, Congress should pursue effective, constitutional solutions that genuinely protect kids and all Americans online. NetChoice’s SHIELD framework offers a better path forward, including bipartisan bills like the Invest in Child Safety Act, ensuring existing laws are being enforced and promoting digital literacy education.”

On the APRA, while the legislation has some good provisions, there are many serious flaws that prevent NetChoice from supporting the current version of this bill. Here are a few specific notes on APRA from Szabo: 

  • “APRA’s focus on privacy harms rather than targeting specific industries is a significant step forward. By prohibiting discriminatory data practices, it ensures that all sectors adhere to the same privacy standards without unfairly singling out any particular industry.”
  • “Addressing a real problem that Americans care about, APRA addresses a comprehensive framework to protect our data. It acknowledges the widespread concern over data privacy and begins a meaningful conversation to safeguard it.”
  • “Despite its merits, APRA fails to create a true national standard. By including carve-outs for state-specific laws, it prevents the establishment of a uniform data protection framework for all Americans.”
  • “The provision for a private right of action opens the door to exploitative and frivolous lawsuits. This could overwhelm the system with legal actions that do little to protect consumer privacy but create significant burdens for businesses, especially smaller ones.”
  • “Handing the FTC authority to decide what is ‘appropriate’ for minors to see risks blocking access to vital information and educational resources online, potentially stifling their learning and personal development.”
  • “We need balanced regulations that protect consumer privacy without overburdening businesses, especially small ones with tighter operating costs.”

Ultimately, NetChoice remains dedicated to working with policymakers to tackle these critical issues. But KOSA and APRA will fail Americans and our families, and we cannot support them in their current versions. 

You can find NetChoice’s one-pager on APRA here, on KOSA’s constitutional flaws here, and more information on our SHIELD proposals here.  

Please contact Krista Chavez at with inquiries.