Markey, Barton, Rush, Blumenthal Reintroduce Bipartisan, Bicameral Legislation to Protect Children’s Online Privacy

 

Do Not Track Kids Act creates an “Eraser Button” so parents and kids can delete personal information and a “Digital Marketing Bill of Rights for Minors” that limits the collection of personal information

 

Washington (May 23, 2018) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Congressman Joe Barton (TX-06), along with Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Congressman Bobby L. Rush (IL-01) today reintroduced the “Do Not Track Kids Act”, comprehensive children’s online privacy legislation. The legislation updates the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) by expanding and enhancing rules for the collection, use and disclosure of the personal information of children 15 years and younger. The legislation establishes new protections for personal information of children and minors, including extending protections for minors aged 13, 14, and 15 from having companies collect their personal and location information without their consent. The Do Not Track Kids Act also creates an “Eraser Button” so parents and children can eliminate publicly available personal information submitted by the child, when technologically feasible.

 

“The Internet can be a child’s 21st century playground, and we need to make sure parents can keep their kids safe,” said Senator Markey, House author of COPPA. “COPPA is the communications constitution for protecting kids online, but we need to update it to reflect the explosive growth and innovation in the online ecosystem. The Do Not Track Kids Act puts parents in control of their children’s information and contains commonsense protections for teenagers. As we see every day the implications when personal information gets hacked, I hope the least we can do is come together on a bipartisan basis to provide a privacy bill of rights for children and minors in our country.”

 

“Our kids and teens are growing up in a digital world, surrounded by online and mobile technology,” said Congressman Barton. “With this technology comes concerns about children’s online privacy. Together, my colleagues and I are reintroducing the “Do Not Track Kids Act” to ensure children’s privacy and protection when using the Internet. This particular legislation puts the control back into the hands of the parents by allowing them to better protect their children’s personal information and would require consent before kids and teens receive targeted advertisements. I believe this legislation is an important step in protecting minors from online and mobile tracking, targeted advertising and data collection.”

 

“The Do Not Track Kids Act would strengthen online safeguards for children, prohibiting companies from collecting the personal and location information of minors without their consent,” said Senator Blumenthal. “The internet is an incredible place for children to learn and explore, but unfortunately, it’s also become a breeding ground for trackers looking to gather and sell sensitive information. I urge my colleagues to come together to pass this bill for the sake of our children’s privacy.”

 

“It is critically important that our children are protected in today’s digital world.  We can no longer sit idly by and risk their data being targeted by nefarious actors, who take advantage of and misuse their personal information,” said Congressman Rush. “I have been a longtime supporter of COPPA, as our children’s online privacy must remain secure and safeguarded by their parents and guardians. This legislation is our best bet in ensuring that the personal and private information of America’s youth will not be compromised in today’s ever-expanding digital landscape.”

 

A copy of the Do Not Track Kids Act can be found HERE.

 

The “Do Not Track Kids” Act strengthens privacy protections for children and minors by:

  • Prohibiting Internet companies from collecting personal and location information from anyone under 13 without parental consent and anyone 13 to 15 years old without the user's consent;
  • Prohibiting targeted advertising to children; 
  • Establishing a “Digital Marketing Bill of Rights for Minors” that limits the collection of personal information of minors, including geolocation information of children and minors;
  • Creating an "Eraser Button" for parents and children by requiring companies to permit users to eliminate publicly available personal information content submitted by the child, when technologically feasible;
  • Requiring online companies to explain the types of personal information collected, how that information is used and disclosed, and the policies for collection of personal information;
  • Prohibiting the sale of internet connected devices targeted towards children and minors unless they meet robust cybersecurity and data security standards, which are established by the Federal Trade Commission; and 
  • Requiring manufacturers of connected devices targeted towards children and teens to prominently display on the packaging of connected devices a privacy dashboard detailing to what extent the sensitive information is collected, transmitted, retained, used, and protected.

 

“We are grateful to Senator Markey and Congressman Barton for their tireless efforts on behalf of American families, and their continued leadership in protecting kids’ and teens’ online privacy with the Do Not Track Kids Act of 2018,” said James P. Steyer, CEO and Founder, Common Sense Media. “Privacy issues are of increasingly great concern and consequence to children and families as kids and teens are living more of their lives online, surrounded by devices that area always on, always connected, and always listening. As the digital world becomes indistinct from the real one, this important legislation empowers families and young people to take control of what they share online and what companies can and can’t do with that information and we strongly urge Congress to support it.”

 

“Now is the time to build on the national conversation about privacy and take real action to protect kids and teens,” said Josh Golin, Executive Director, Campaign for Commercial-Free Childhood. “Young people are particularly vulnerable to marketing and shouldn’t be subjected to sophisticated data collection and targeted advertising practices. Do Not Track Kids will strengthen the existing regulatory framework to ensure that children and teens aren’t exploited by marketers when using websites, apps, or connected devices.”

 

“Children and teens are prime targets of a powerful and pervasive digital data collection apparatus, that track and target them 24/7,” said Jeffrey Chester, Executive Director, Center for Digital Democracy. “Young people today require the highest possible privacy protection.  The Do-Not-Track Kids Act will help ensure they are safe.”

 

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