Dec 2, 2010: Rep. Markey Opening Statement at hearing on Do Not Track legislation

December 2, 2010, Representative Markey issued the following opening statement at Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection hearing, “DO NOT TRACK LEGISLATION – IS NOW THE TIME?”

 

Chairman Rush, thank you for holding today’s hearing on whether Internet users should have the ability to prevent the tracking of their online activities.  I thank our witnesses for being here this morning and look forward to their testimony.

As Co-Chairman of the Bi-Partisan Privacy Caucus with Joe Barton and former Chairman of the Telecommunications and the Internet Subcommittee, I have long believed that consumers should have control over their own personal information. 

When it comes to kids and their use of the Internet, it is particularly important that stringent privacy protections are applied so that children do not have their online behavior tracked or their personal information collected or disclosed.

In 1998, I was the House author of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act – or COPPA - which was signed into law by President Clinton. 

COPPA places parents in control over what information is collected from their children online.

My law covers children under age 13, and it requires operators of commercial websites and online services directed to children under 13 to abide by various privacy safeguards as they collect, use, or disclose personal information about kids.

But in Internet years, 1998 is so long ago – we may as well be talking about the Peloponnesian Wars.  The 1990’s is way back in the “B.F. Era” – Before Facebook.

Now is the time for new legislation to protect kids and prevent them from being tracked online.

That’s why next year I plan to introduce comprehensive children’s privacy legislation that will include a ‘Do Not Track’ requirement so that kids do not have their online behavior tracked or their personal information collected or profiled.

I look forward to working with my colleagues to move this legislation forward.  I also want to commend Common Sense Media and its CEO Jim Steyer for their excellent work in this area.

For many kids, the Internet is like online oxygen – they can’t live without it.

The Internet enables kids to access incredible opportunities that were unimaginable only a few years ago, but we also must protect children from the dangers that can lurk in this online environment.

Video available HERE

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Rep. Markey speaks at Energy and Commerce  Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection hearing on “Do-Not-Track Legislation: Is Now the Right Time?”, December 2, 2010.

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David Vladeck, Director, Bureau of Consumer Protection, Federal Trade Commission, testifies at the hearing among others.