Markey: Facebook Privacy Policy Changes for Teens Highlight Need for Do Not Track Kids Act

Contact: Giselle Barry (Markey) 2022242742

Yesterday, lawmaker and bipartisan group introduced legislation to protect children and teen online privacy

 

Washington (November 15, 2013) - After Facebook today announced it was moving forward with new privacy policies that force teens and other users to share more of their personal information more publicly, Senator Edward J. Markey (DMass.) released a statement calling for Congressional action on legislation that would protect children and teen privacy. Yesterday, Senator Markey, a member of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, joined with a bipartisan group of lawmakers to introduce S. 1700, the ' Do Not Track Kids' Act . Among several provisions, the Do Not Track Kids Act would extend protection to teens ages 13 to 15 by prohibiting Internet companies from collecting personal and location information from teens without their consent and would create an "eraser button" so parents and children could eliminate publicly available personal information content, when technologically feasible. In September, Senator Markey called on the Federal Trade Commission to determine whether Facebook's proposed changes are a violation of the settlement agreement between the Commission and the company.

 

"The speed with which Facebook is pushing teens to share their sensitive, personal information widely and publicly online must spur Congress to act commensurately to put strong privacy protections on the books for teens and parents," said Senator Markey. "Now is the time to pass the bipartisan Do Not Track Kids Act so that children and teens don't have their information collected and sold to the highest bidder. Corporations like Facebook should not be profiting from the personal and sensitive information of children and teens, and parents and teens should have the right to control their personal information online."

 

The "Do Not Track Kids" Act strengthens privacy protections for children and teens 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; 
  • Requiring consent of the parent or teen prior to sending targeted advertising to children and teens;   
  • Establishing a "Digital Marketing Bill of Rights for Teens" that limits the collection of personal information of teens, including geolocation information of children and teens;
  • Creating an "Eraser Button" for parents and children by requiring companies to permit users to eliminate publicly available personal information content when technologically feasible; and 
  • 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.