Markey, Barton reintroducing bill to reduce online tracking of kids

Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) announced Monday that they would be reintroducing their bill to reduce online tracking of young Internet users in the coming weeks.

The two introduced the Do Not Track Kids Act in the last Congress, when Markey was a member of the House. It would have prohibited targeted advertising to Internet users under the age of 16 and created an “eraser button” for young Internet users to delete the content they post online.

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Earlier this year, the Federal Trade Commission updated its Childrens’ Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) rule, which limits online tracking of Internet users under the age of 13.

“The Do Not Track Kids legislation would update COPPA for this new Internet ecosystem, establish new protections for the personal information of children and teens and ensure that parents have the tools they need to protect their children’s privacy,” Markey and Barton said in a statement.

The lawmakers pointed to a recent report from Commonsense Media, indicating that young Internet users are using mobile devices more frequently and for longer periods of time.

 “Increasing use of mobile devices by very young children coupled with rapid change in technological development makes it more important than ever to put federal legislation on the books that provides parents with the tools to protect their children online,” Markey and Barton said.