February 26, 2024

Families are calling for stronger protections for teen victims facing the recent circulation of AI-generated nude images of themselves. Lawmakers are overlooking the fact that data produced by children online powers harmful AI. Children’s digital interactions represent unpaid labor that fuels big tech’s profits. Researchers are calling for a redefinition of child online safety to include compensating young data laborers and enacting national legislation to curb surveillance and data extraction. The exploitation of children’s data parallels the harrowing conditions of children facing labor rights violations globally. The proposal for a universal basic income funded by corporate tech profits is one solution to address this issue. This aim is to build a digital realm that is safe and equitable for our youngest digital citizens. The piece was produced for Progressive Perspectives and distributed by Tribune News Service, and was written by Avriel Epps, a PhD Candidate at Harvard University and a public voices fellow on technology in the public interest.

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