A Washington state teenager advocates for a bill to protect the privacy of the children of influential people.

Chris McCarty, 18, a freshman at the University of Washington, said he wanted to advocate for children’s right to privacy online after learning of the influence of Myka Stauffer, who shared extensive and intimate content about her foster child before relinquishing custody due to his medical condition. needs.

McCarty, who uses they/they pronouns, started the site stop clicking kids to spread awareness and urge fellow advocates to take action in their own states. When they were seniors in high school last year, cold emailed several state legislators and ultimately worked with State Rep. Emily Wicks to craft HB 2023, which was resubmitted as HB 1627 for this year’s legislative session.

HB 1627, which the House Judiciary and Civil Rights Committee discussed in a public hearing Tuesday, would protect the «interests of minor children who appear in for-profit family vlogging» by requiring parents of influential children to book part of the proceeds from your content for separate funds that your children could access when they reach adulthood. The law would affect only creators whose content generates at least 10 cents per view and features their children in at least 30% of their paid content.

It would also give the children of influencers the right to request the permanent removal of their images, names or photos from «any Internet platform or network that has provided compensation to the person’s parent(s) in exchange for that content.» Platforms must take «all reasonable steps» to permanently remove video segments of such children.

The bill is one of the first laws specifically for children to be posted online without their consent. It follows a growing movement of creators removing their children from their content to protect their privacy, as well as calls to end «sharing,» the widely criticized practice of parents oversharing photos, videos, and more. and details of their children’s lives online. .

The bill is scheduled to be discussed in the House committee’s executive session on Thursday.

A co-sponsor, Kristine Reeves, stressed the importance of focusing children’s privacy in the audience.

“However, the reality is that our children don’t always get to choose how they are included in an online profile,” she said. «What the bill before you really does, the problem we’re trying to solve here, is make sure that we’re centering the rights of our children in how they come to own their online presence.»

McCarty said trusting tech companies to «do the right thing» and protect children’s privacy isn’t enough: The legislation would enforce it.

“In an ideal world, that would be the way to go. But I think in many cases, technology companies need that extra pressure,» they said. “Family vlogging channels are one of the most popular content channels out there. And I really think that waiting any longer is not a good way to do it, because in the meantime, you have all these kids who are losing their privacy, losing the ability to make mistakes in a judgment-free environment.»

Cam, a TikTok creator known as softscorpio who advocates for children’s right to privacy online, testified at the hearing, which was streamed online.

They previously spoke with NBC News about how their mother’s social media habits, which revolved around posting about them, affect them today. Cam wanted her to be referred to only by her first name due to her concern for her privacy due to her mother’s previous presence on social media.

“If you google my legal name, my full legal name, it brings up pictures of me as a kid. The first thing that comes up are pictures of me as a girl in a bikini,» Cam said before the hearing. «Once those images are there, the things that are on the Internet are on the Internet forever.»

A lot of people I’ve seen online think it’s about the money… like the kid has a great life, the kid gets all these toys, all these clothes. Those things can be fun, but you risk losing your childhood privacy.

-Cam, a TikTok creator known as softscorpio who advocates for children’s right to privacy online

The first part of the bill, which would require parents to compensate their children for the monetized content they appear in, is similar to state laws that require parents of child actors to set aside money that their children can access a once they turn 18. Coogan’s Lawfor example, it ensures that 15% of a child actor’s earnings are held in a locked trust known as the Coogan Account.

But Cam said HB 1627 is about more than money. They stressed the importance of the second part of the bill, which would give people the right to permanently delete their childhood content from social media.

«A lot of people I’ve seen online think it’s about the money… like the kid has a great life, the kid gets all these toys, all these clothes,» they said. «Those things can be fun, but you risk losing your childhood privacy.»

Although some services can remove a person’s image from social media and search engine results, they are expensive and limited. For most, McCarty said, «a digital footprint follows you for life.»

“And that includes anything your parents decide to put on their vlog,” they continued. “It could be mental health issues that you struggle with as a teenager. It could be your first period or you are not potty trained as a child. It could be problems you’re having with the bully at school. And those are all examples of things that have come online that really shouldn’t be shared, and certainly things that they shouldn’t profit from.”

McCarty urged child safety advocates to work with their local legislators to craft similar legislation in other states. The Quit Clicking Kids website includes state-specific email templates for communicating with lawmakers, and McCarty has hosted webinars to take action.

Many people, McCarty said, may not see «sharing» as a major concern, but they said they worry it will get worse.

“The goal is to raise awareness before it gets to that point, before a lot of kids who grow up on family vlogging realize what was done to them and start sharing their story,” McCarty said. «Really, the ideal is to be leaders in technology policy and say, ‘No, we want to stop this’ before it happens and think proactively.»