Sen. Markey Queries Toymakers: How Do You Protect Children’s Information?
Senator questions companies compliance with COPPA
Washington (December 6, 2016) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D–Mass.), the House author of the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), today sent letters to toy maker Genesis Toys and technology developer Nuance Communications requesting information on what data they collect on children using two toys, the My Friend Cayla and i-Que Intelligent Robot. Genesis Toys makes My Friend Cayla and i-Que Intelligent Robot, which collect children’s voice recordings and use Nuance Communications’ speech-recognition software and data centers to answer questions posed by kids. According to recent reports, Nuance may be storing children’s voice recordings and information without providing sufficient notice to parents.
COPPA requires companies collecting information online about children 12 years old and younger to notify parents and obtain consent from them before collecting personal information from kids, as well as take reasonable steps to protect the confidentiality and security of personal information collected about children. In his letters, Senator Markey asks for responses to questions that include what data are the companies collecting about children 12 years old and younger, how is this information used, and whether the information is shared or sold.
“Given the sensitive nature of children’s recorded speech, I believe that Genesis Toys and Nuance must take responsible steps to protect children’s privacy and comply with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA),” writes Senator Markey.
Senator Markey and Rep. Barton, joined by Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.), introduced the Do Not Track Kids Act, comprehensive children's online privacy legislation that updates COPPA by expanding and enhancing rules for the collection, use and disclosure of children's personal information. The legislation establishes new protections for personal information of children and teens, including extending protections to teens ages 13 to 15 by prohibiting Internet companies from collecting personal and location information from teens without their consent.