We have an important opportunity to help protect children’s and teens’ privacy online. H.R. 1895, the Do Not Track Kids Act of 2011(1), will limit companies’ ability to track children on the web or through mobile devices and empower parents to protect their kids. CCFC is proud to endorse this important legislation.
Tracking the online movements of children and teens—and collecting their personal data—is a widespread practice. In fact, websites directed towards children and teens are more likely to track user activities than websites for adults.(2) Companies that collect this information about kids and teens can sell the information to advertisers who deliver manipulative, targeted ads.
The Do Not Track Kids Act is essential for protecting children’s privacy when they use digital media:
- It will prohibit Internet companies from collecting personal information from anyone under 13 without parental consent, and from teens without their consent.
- It will prohibit companies from sending targeted advertising to kids and teens.
- It will require websites to have an “eraser button” that allows parents to control their kids’ information, and teens to control their own information.
Online marketing has completely transformed since Congress passed the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) in 1998. Social networking sites, like Facebook, that track users’ every move, didn’t even exist then. Nor were marketers using location tracking to send targeted ads through mobile technologies. Parents need the tools to protect their kids in today’s digital environment.
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(1) The full bill text is available at www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112hr1895ih/pdf/BILLS-112hr1895ih.pdf.