WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, U.S. Senator Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) pressed Adam Mosseri, Head of Instagram, about the effects his platform has on children. During the hearing before the Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Data Security, Senator Lummis demanded privacy protections for our children using social media. She also highlighted the harms that can come from unlimited data collection gathered by these large platforms through a hypothetical example of a hostile government demanding private data on its citizens from Instagram.
“Companies like Instagram often fail to build technology to serve its users’ best interests. Instead, they are often designing technology to maximize the collection of your data and subsequently sell visibility into its users’ private lives and interests,” Senator Lummis said during the hearing. “Congress must not ‘scroll past’ this critical moment without properly addressing the harms our youth are encountering on these platforms.”
“People in Wyoming value their privacy above almost everything else. It’s even more important when it comes to their children,” Senator Lummis said. “It’s time that we understand the full breadth of the impact that social media companies like Instagram can have. Congress must install guardrails to both protect user privacy and shield our children from the harms of social media usage.”
Senator Lummis is a cosponsor of the Children and Teens’ Online Privacy Protection Act, which would block companies from harvesting children’s internet data and selling it for advertising.