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California Senator proposes Bill for user identity authentication on large online platforms

The Bill allows the Attorney General or any district/ city attorney to seek injunctive or other equitable relief against a large online platform

What’s the news: California State Senator Steve Padilla recently proposed a Bill for user identity authentication on large online platforms, reported Bloomberg Law. As per the Bill’s text, the document “would require a large online platform, [at least 1,000,000 California users during the preceding 12 months], to seek to verify the name, telephone number, and email address of an influential user, as defined, by a means chosen by the large online platform and would require the platform to seek to verify the identity of a highly influential user, as defined, by asking to review the highly influential user’s government-issued identification.” The Bill allows the Attorney General or any district/ city attorney “to seek injunctive or other equitable relief against a large online platform” to compel compliance with the Bill. Further, platforms will also be required to attach to any post of an influential or highly influential user a notation to indicate that the user is authenticated or unauthenticated. Verification can be a problem for marginalized groups During MediaNama’s ‘Exploring User Verification’ event in March last year, experts at the roundtable discussion pointed out that marginalized communities could face a chilling effect due to mandatory verification online. Jhalak Kakkar, Executive Director at the Centre for Communications Governance, said that anonymity affects the community member’s ability to navigate, use, and leverage the internet for social benefit within their communities. Kakkar gave the example of an earlier real-name policy of major social media platforms that faced criticisms from various communities like transgender folk…

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I'm interested in the shaping and strengthening of rights in the digital space. I cover cybersecurity, platform regulation, gig worker economy. In my free time, I'm either binge-watching an anime or off on a hike.

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