PA House Children & Youth Committee approves Bullock bill to protect youth personal data online

HARRISBURG, June 11 – The Pennsylvania House Children and Youth Committee approved a bill today introduced by state Rep. Donna Bullock that would create safer online experiences for Pennsylvania’s youth.

The bill (H.B. 1879) would establish the Online Safety Protection Act, which would require businesses with an online presence to complete a “data protection impact assessment” before offering new online services, products or features that are likely to be accessed by children under the age of 18.

It would also prohibit companies from using a child’s personal information; collecting, selling or retaining a child’s geolocation; profiling a child by default; and leading or encouraging children to provide personal information.

“While it may be impossible to safeguard our children from every negative online experience, this legislation would be a step toward ensuring Pennsylvania children are protected within the digital world,” Bullock, chair of the House Children and Youth Committee, said. “It’s common sense to create standards for online services to follow that are age-appropriate for our youth and prioritize their privacy over profits.”

The bill will now head to the House floor to await a vote.