Study will include special attention to how online platforms impact children and teens
Washington (December 14, 2020) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) today issued the following statement after the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that it is issuing orders to Amazon, ByteDance, Discord, Facebook, Reddit, Snap, Twitter, WhatsApp and YouTube, requiring the companies to provide crucial information about their data practices. Exercising its authority under Section 6(b) of the FTC Act, the Commission will require these companies to answer questions specifically about how their practices affect children and teens’ privacy.

“Social media platforms and video streaming services are daily destinations for young people today,” said Senator Markey, a member of the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee. “Unfortunately, parents and policymakers alike are in the dark about how powerful websites and apps are siphoning kids’ and teens’ personal information, profiling users, and raking in profits while children get hooked on their devices. No comprehensive investigation of these websites would be complete without special attention to children and teens, a uniquely vulnerable population online. I am glad that the FTC heeded my calls to issue these orders, and I thank my bipartisan partners who joined me in advocating for this investigation.”

In May, Senators Markey, Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) wrote to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) urging it to use its authority under the FTC Act to launch an investigation into children’s data practices in the digital advertising sector and educational technology sector.