RT Youth Power Fund – Design it For Us and Cyber Collective – Part 4

Episode 108

Introduction

In this weeks podcast, the fourth in our series of non profit organisations who were successful in securing grant funding, to help with their research and development of various forms of technology and the safety concerns for people using such systems in the future.  Today we are looking at Design it for Us and the Cyber Collective

We are young people – TAKING ON BIG TECH

Endorsed Legislation

California Age Appropriate Design Code

PASSED

Background

Unanimously passed by the California State Legislature and signed into law in September 2022, the California Age Appropriate Design Code (AADC) is a landmark bipartisan law to protect kids online by design and by default. The AADC is first-of-its-kind legislation, giving children high privacy for their personal data, and instructing companies to change features that use data to expose children to risks and intrusion. The California AADC was inspired by the UK’s AADC, which has already produced significant changes from Big Tech companies to protect kids online including:

  • Instagram will no longer allow unknown adults to direct message under 18s
  • TikTok users under the age of 16 will have the accounts set to private by default.
  • Google will stop targeted advertising to under 18s, taking children out of the business model. They have also introduced safe search by default.
  • YouTube will remove auto-play, to prevent children being fed endless videos.

The California AADC goes into effect in 2024. The legislation has already inspired similar legislation in states across the country.

Learn More

Maryland Age Appropriate Design Code

UNDER CONSIDERATION

Background

Introduced by Delegates Jared Solomon and C.T. Wilson and Senators Chris West and Benjamin Kramer, the bipartisan Maryland Age Appropriate Design Code (AADC) is a privacy framework that brings a product safety approach to the internet ensuring that, like cribs and seatbelts, the online products our children and teens use every day are safe by design.

Inspired by successful AADC legislation in the United Kingdom and California, the Maryland AADC is a chance for Maryland to lead the nation in protecting kids online by design and by default. The AADC would require online platforms likely accessed by kids under the age of 18 in Maryland to meet key design standards to protect their safety and privacy including:

  • Requiring online platforms that children can access to be designed by default for their protection.
  • Maintaining a high level of privacy settings by default.
  • Providing easily accessible reporting tools for privacy and inappropriate behavior concerns.
  • Prohibiting covered platforms from collecting and retaining any personal information for users under age 18 that is unnecessary for the provided service.

Take Action

Minnesota Age Appropriate Design Code

UNDER CONSIDERATION

Background

Introduced by State Representatives Kristin Bahner, Steve Elkins, and Zack Stephenson and Senators Erin Maye Quade, Melissa Wiklund, and Kelly Morrison, the Minnesota Age Appropriate Design Code (AADC) is a privacy framework that brings a product safety approach to the internet ensuring that, like cribs and seatbelts, the online products our children and teens use every day are safe by design.

Nevada Age Appropriate Design Code

UNDER CONSIDERATION

Background

Introduced by Nevada State Senator Edgar Flores and Nevada Assemblywoman Jill Dickman, the bipartisan Nevada Age Appropriate Design Code Act (AADC) is a privacy framework that brings a product safety approach to the internet ensuring that, like cribs and seatbelts, the online products our children and teens use every day are safe by design.

California Age Appropriate Design Code

PASSED LEARN MORE

Maryland Age Appropriate Design Code

UNDER CONSIDERATION TAKE ACTION

Minnesota Age Appropriate Design Code

UNDER CONSIDERATION TAKE ACTION

Nevada Age Appropriate Design Code

UNDER CONSIDERATION

Background

Introduced by Nevada State Senator Edgar Flores and Nevada Assemblywoman Jill Dickman, the bipartisan Nevada Age Appropriate Design Code Act (AADC) is a privacy framework that brings a product safety approach to the internet ensuring that, like cribs and seatbelts, the online products our children and teens use every day are safe by design.

Inspired by successful AADC legislation in the United Kingdom and California, the Nevada AADC is a chance for Nevada to lead the nation in protecting kids online by design and by default. The AADC would require online platforms likely accessed by kids under the age of 18 in Nevada to meet key design standards to protect their safety and privacy including:

  • Requiring online platforms that children can access to be designed by default for their protection.
  • Maintaining a high level of privacy settings by default.
  • Providing easily accessible reporting tools for privacy and inappropriate behavior concerns.
  • Prohibiting covered platforms from collecting and retaining any personal information for users under age 18 that is unnecessary for the provided service.

Take Action

New Mexico Age Appropriate Design Code

UNDER CONSIDERATION TAKE ACTION

The Children and Teens’ Online Privacy Protection Act

UNDER CONSIDERATION TAKE ACTION

The Kids Online Safety Act (KOSA)

UNDER CONSIDERATION TAKE ACTION

The Kids PRIVACY Act

UNDER CONSIDERATION TAKE ACTION

ABOUT

In 2022, youth led organizations — LOG OFF and Tech(nically) Politics — came together to create the “Design It for Us” campaign in support of the bipartisan California Age Appropriate Design Code (AADC).

Design It For Us was an innovative multimedia effort for young people to share why online spaces should be designed for them. The campaign elevated youth voices and secured the unanimous passage of the California AADC, the most significant tech accountability bill to pass anywhere in the United States this century.

Building on the success of the youth-led campaign, Design It For Us has grown into a youth-led coalition to advocate for safer online platforms and social media. The new first-of-its-kind “Design It For Us” coalition aims to drive and achieve key policy reforms to protect kids, teens, and young adults online through the mobilization of youth activists, leaders, and voices. The youth-led coalition is led by two Co-Chairs and a Core Team of young people between the age of 18 and 26. The coalition is supported by an array of youth activists, youth-led organizations, and advisors.

Core Team

Emma Lembke

CO-CHAIR · SHE/HER

Emma Lembke (Co-Chair) is a 20-year-old youth digital advocate. As a senior in high school, Lembke founded LOG OFF, a youth movement dedicated to uplifting and empowering youth to tackle the complexities of social media and its impact on their privacy, safety, and mental health. Her efforts have been covered by numerous media outlets including the New York Times, 60 Minutes, CBS, MTV, NPR, The Hill, and Bloomberg. In February 2023, Emma became one of the first young people to testify before Congress regarding tech policy.

Zamaan Qureshi

CO-CHAIR · HE/HIM

Zamaan Qureshi is a policy advisor and social media coordinator for the Real Facebook Oversight Board and an activist and advocate for safer social media for teenagers and young people. Zamaan has written for TIME, Slate, Tech Policy Press, and Byline Times, has appeared on MSNBC and Marketplace/NPR, and has been featured in CNN, Reuters, Newsweek, Forbes, Business Insider, Gizmodo, Engadget, and the Washington Post. Zamaan is the first young person to successfully FOIA the SEC and will be the first young person to sue the Commission.  He is pursuing a B.A. in international studies and political science at American University.

Thanasi Dilos

CORE TEAM MEMBER · HE/HIM

Thanasi Dilos is 20 years old and a co-founder of Civics Unplugged, a nonpartisan 501(c)(3) social enterprise whose mission is to empower future leaders with the training, funding, and community they need to become civic innovators. Civics Unplugged has graduated over 3,000 Civic Innovation Fellows and moved over $400,000 to support youth-led social change projects across the United States. Thanasi is also a partner at Gotham Labs, an impact venture studio. He is a National Geographic Explorer and Innovator in Residence at Project Liberty.

Arielle Geismar

CORE TEAM MEMBER · SHE/HER

Content creator, digital wellness advocate, and leader in student organizing. Arielle’s organizing has reached areas around mental health, technology ethics, and LGBTQ+ rights. Named Teen Vogue’s 21 Under 21, she has been featured in the NY Times, MTV, CNN, and more. As a creator, she makes content on mental health and has partnered on social issue campaigns with Toms and Patagonia. She served on Biden’s Transition team advising on the youth mental health crisis and is currently George Washington University’s Student Association President.

Sam Hiner

CORE TEAM MEMBER · HE/HIM

Sam is a 20 year old student and is a co-founder and the Executive Director of the Young People’s Alliance. The Young People’s Alliance is a national youth movement that spawned out of a need for better youth representation in politics. Primarily based in North Carolina, Sam attends UNC-Chapel Hill and leads youth-centered advocacy initiatives on colleges campuses throughout NC, in the NC General Assembly, and in the US Congress.

Emi Kim

CORE TEAM MEMBER · SHE/HER

Emi Kim is a 19-year-old college student from Los Angeles, California, and the Head of PR and Director of Legislative Efforts at the Log Off Movement. Emi has operated as the leading youth advocate for California’s Age Appropriate Design Code. She has been published in the Sacramento Bee and her work has been covered by leading media outlets like CBS and CNN. Emi testified in 2022 in front of the California state legislature in support of the California Age Appropriate Design Code, one of the youngest individuals to testify before the body in its history.

Sneha Revanur

CORE TEAM MEMBER · SHE/HER

Sneha Revanur (she/her) is an 18-year-old leader committed to asking critical, big-picture questions about the future of innovation. In July 2020, she founded Encode Justice, an international, youth-powered organization building a movement for human-centered artificial intelligence. Encode Justice now includes over 600 high school and college students across over 40 U.S. states and 25 countries. Sneha has worked with stakeholders and audiences at the White House, U.S. Department of Education, Federal Trade Commission, and United Nations.

PRESS RELEASES

So many examples on the website, but as a summary, every press release shown, states something important.  These young people who are members of these 26 Organisations, are far from shy, and very much are prepared to take on whoever, and make their points about young peoples safety online, and to hold the large technical corporations to be held responsible for various key measurables.

One headline from July 23 2023:-

Design It For Us Calls for Full Senate Vote on Kids’ Online Safety Bills  KOSA and COPPA 2.0 receives unanimous, bipartisan support in Senate Commerce; awaits full Senate floor vote.

This is just one headline from one press release – all of them from this year.  All of them powerful statement, and corporations will be held to account.

Design It For Us Coalition | Kids Online Safety Act Overview

Design It For Us Coalition | Kids Online Safety Act Overview Who is Design it for us: 🔎 Design It For Us is a youth-led coalition that advocates for safer online platforms and social media. Our new coalition aims to drive and achieve key policy reforms to protect kids, teens, and young adults online through the mobilization of youth activists, leaders, and voices. Learn more about Design It For Us The Problem: ⚠️Young people are concerned about the addictiveness of social media, unchecked algorithms pushing kids/teens into rabbit holes, and dangerous content promoting eating disorders and suicide. The Surgeon General has been sounding the alarm about the youth mental health crisis fueled by social media and algorithms. But as digital natives, we live in a fully online world. Our social life, the content we consume, the games we play, and even the friends we make happen on social media. We experience both the harms and benefits of social media and online platforms, and we know firsthand that the status quo is not sustainable. What young people think: 📲We understand this is a nuanced position. We believe that regulation is urgently needed to protect young people by design and prevent the algorithmic proliferation of harmful content in order to allow us to reap the benefits of these platforms. Banning us from the platforms is not the answer. But one thing we all agree on is that these platforms have, in some way, harmed us or our friends and family. Why KOSA: The Kids Online Safety Act: 1️⃣ Creates a duty of care for social media platforms, requiring companies by law to prevent and mitigate content that promotes suicidal behaviors, eating disorders, substance use, sexual exploitation, advertisements for tobacco and alcohol, and more. 2️⃣ Requires social media platforms to provide children and adolescents with options to protect their information, disable addictive product features, and opt out of algorithmic recommendations. Platforms are required to enable the strongest settings by default. 3️⃣ Gives parents new tools to help support their children and provide them with a dedicated reporting channel to raise issues (such as harassment or threats) on the platforms. The Kids Online Safety Act is a start, it is not a silver bullet. More needs to be done to hold Big Tech accountable and protect kids and teens online. Design It For Us supports other measures like COPPA 2.0, the Kids PRIVACY Act, and at the state level, the Age Appropriate Design Codes. Zamaan Qureshi Emma Lembke Alison Rice zamaan@designitforus.org emma@designitforus.org alison@designitforus.org

 

Company News

Meghan & Harry Called?!

Cyber Collective is thrilled to announce that we have been selected to join the first ever cohort of the 26 youth-led organizations to receive funding from the Responsible Technology Youth Power Fund to empower us to advance our advocacy and drive positive change in technology.

Link to the short video of Harry and Meghan ringing some of the organisations about their grant application.

https://vimeo.com/850385653




Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Surprise Fund Recipient with a Call and ‘Really Sweet’ Message (Exclusive)

Prince Harry and Meghan had warm wishes for some of the Responsible Technology Youth Power Fund grantees — who they shocked with phone calls!

Direct quote from the People publication. Link listed in the Reference sources

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are connecting with “young people making the digital world a better place.

In a new video released Wednesday, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex surprised some recipients of the first-ever Responsible Technology Youth Power Fund grants with phone calls. Prince Harry, 38, and Meghan, 41, were all smiles when they called some of the recipients from a bright garden — who tell PEOPLE they were equally excited.

“They congratulated me; they said they were really proud of the work that we’re doing here at Cyber Collective,” Tazin Khan Norelius, founder and CEO of Cyber Collective, exclusively tells PEOPLE.

Meghan also asked Tazin to pass along a message to her dad, who was an inspiration behind the organization.

“She said, ‘Tell Baba I say hi!’ Which was really sweet,” Tazin says. “The impetus of me starting this organization, one of the reasons was because dad got hacked. When I was able to share that story, I think that maybe resonated with them, and they congratulated me. When I told my dad, he was just so excited about it.”

Sam Hiner, executive director of the Young People’s Alliance Education Fund, tells PEOPLE of his phone call with Prince Harry and Meghan, “What I appreciated is that sometimes it feels like we’re not as recognized for the advocacy we do as young people. I really appreciated that they saw the importance of the work that we were doing and were speaking to the importance of young people getting engaged in the democratic process.”

“More broadly, connecting it back to how important it is for our democracy that young people are engaged, because if our next generation doesn’t get engaged then we’re going to have serious issues as we start to move into leadership positions as a generation,” he added.

In the video, the Duke of Sussex thanked Sneha Revanur of Encode Justice for helping make the world a better place and referenced his kids — Prince Archie, 4, and Princess Lilibet, 2.

“Thank you for doing everything that you do. Our kids especially are incredibly grateful,” Prince Harry said.

“They don’t know it yet, but they will!” Meghan added with a laugh.

Vision and Values

Our intention is to ensure all peoples’ safety and needs are prioritized by the next generation of technology leaders and builders.

Build collective awareness of how technology affects individuals and their communities, both online and offline.

  • As a women of color-owned and operated organization, it is not only our passion but our best interest to center impacted communities in our efforts. We were founded in 2019 in response to a family member’s experience of being hacked online, and then we took on new life in 2020 when we learned that Black Lives Matter protestors were being tracked and targeted on social media. We know that technology users have misconceptions about the tools they use every day, and very few understand how their data can dictate their future.We aim to empower individuals, particularly those who are marginalized, with the necessary understanding to navigate the digital world safely and effectively. By equipping them with the knowledge and tools to comprehend and mitigate risks, we strive to dismantle the barriers that hinder their ability to fully participate in and benefit from technology.

Educate people about how to better protect themselves through online privacy and cybersecurity

  • In today’s world, technology plays a much larger role than simply providing entertainment or convenience. It has become an integral part of our identity and the way we interact with the world. However, along with its benefits, we have also witnessed the negative impacts it can have. From social media inequalities that amplify certain voices over others to issues in healthcare and personal finance, technology has highlighted various inequities and challenges.As an organization, it is important to confront these challenges head-on. By doing so, we can empower individuals and communities to navigate the digital world more confidently, mitigate the negative consequences, and harness the transformative potential of technology for the betterment of society as a whole.
Together we can achieve our goal to help 1 million people become more safe, secure, and confident online in 2023.
Our Values
Creating Change Is Hard Without The Right Values In Place

Having strong values is crucial for a successful impact organization. Values like safety, education, open dialogue, creation, and evolution provide a guiding framework for making meaningful change and ensuring positive impact in the long term. They help maintain a clear focus, drive decision-making, and foster a culture of continuous improvement and adaptability.

      

 

THE TEAM

Board and Special Advisors

We empower people to think critically about their relationship with technology and inspire a more socially responsible future.

 

Closing Remarks

In February, Archewell announced its participation in the Youth Power Fund “as part of the foundation’s ongoing commitment to the future of technology and its impact on society.”

Making the digital world a better place is a key focus of the public work of the Archewell Foundation, which the Duke and Duchess of Sussex launched in 2020 shortly after stepping back from their roles as senior working royals. The organization is named for the Greek word meaning “source of action,” which also was the basis for Prince Archie’s name.

Prince Harry and Meghan’s Archewell Foundation is a founding member of the Responsible Technology Youth Power Fund, a philanthropic initiative dedicated to supporting youth and intergenerational-led organizations shaping the future of the responsible technology movement earlier this year. The fund raised $2 million to distribute via grants to 501(c)3 eligible public charities making today’s tech ecosystem a more inclusive and equitable place, according to the RT Youth Power Fund’s about page.

“At The Archewell Foundation, our core purpose is, quite simply, to do good. We meet the moment by showing up, taking action, and using our unparalleled spotlight to uplift and unite communities, both local and global, online and offline,” Archewell’s about page states. “Baked into all that we do is the core belief that our collective well-being and mental health are paramount. Our three main pillars of focus are to build a better world online, to restore trust in information, and above all, to uplift communities.”

Final Remarks

To see these young people, putting their ideas and learning into practice, and holding court in front of elected officials and large corporations, is impressive.  The groups that I have researched so far, are fearless, and intend to make measureable impactful change.  I have noticed some of the same names appearing on groups from different non profits who have been awarded Grants.  They are all gaining more experience in these areas, and they are sharing expertise with each other.   I don’t know yet if that is the case with all the 26, but that certainly matches the way Archewell Foundation operates. Organisations come on board in some way, to work on a project, and then over time, we see some of them come together on something where more than one organisation has experience or skills or both on a particular topic.

It felt good as I was making notes, when I came across a name, that I knew I had come across in recent weeks, and to search and find them as being members of another non profit part of the 26, it started to make even more logical sense.  I suspect that those who organisations, like Archewell, who came together to donate funds for this work on a range of technical development to begin, I would not be surprised some of those Foundations joining forces again on similar areas of work in the future.  The non profits are already finding out that by coming together on certain areas of skill and/or experience on a shared interest in technological safety moving forward for the sake of the vulnerable users in the future, it is like a mirror image of a way of working and sharing a variety of resources to ensure the outcome is the desired outcome.  I feel privileged to get to know a little bit about each group, in their embryonic stages, and to see the pace of development already is so encouraging.  Responsible Technology, you brought together the right group of Foundations, and they in turn have chosen fantastic ambassadors for their respective groups and lead bodies, to nurture this enthusiasm and talent for the wider good.  So, so impressive all round, at every level of involvement.

Ivy Barrow

10/09/23

 

Reference Sources

https://www.cybercollective.org/

https://people.com/meghan-markle-prince-harry-new-video-surprise-phone-call-sweet-message-baba-responsible-technology-youth-power-fund-recipients-exclusive-7568356

https://designitforus.org/resource/

https://designitforus.org/stories/

https://designitforus.org/about/

https://designitforus.org/about/#

https://designitforus.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/07/DIFU-KOSA-One-Pager.pdf