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Lawmakers roll out bill to protect children from online data collection

Lawmakers roll out bill to protect children from online data collection
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A bipartisan group of lawmakers is rolling out legislation that would prohibit internet companies from creating targeted advertisements aimed at children.

Sen. Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyOcasio-Cortez says having Green New Deal would have helped handle COVID-19 pandemic OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Democrats push expansion of offshore wind, block offshore drilling with ocean energy bill | Poll: Two-thirds of voters support Biden climate plan | Biden plan lags Green New Deal in fighting emissions from homes Biden plan lags Green New Deal in fighting emissions from homes MORE (D-Mass.) and Rep. Joe BartonJoe Linus BartonLobbying world Bottom line Ex-Tea Party lawmakers turn heads on K Street MORE (R-Texas) on Wednesday reintroduced companion versions of the Do Not Track Kids Act in the Senate and House, respectively. The bills were also sponsored by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Rep. Bobby RushBobby Lee RushHillicon Valley: Judge's ruling creates fresh hurdle for TikTok | House passes bills to secure energy sector against cyberattacks | Biden campaign urges Facebook to remove Trump posts spreading 'falsehoods' House passes bills to secure energy sector against cyberattacks Congress should investigate OAS actions in Bolivia MORE (D-Ill.).

“The Do Not Track Kids Act puts parents in control of their children’s information and contains commonsense protections for teenagers,” Markey said in a statement. “As we see every day the implications when personal information gets hacked, I hope the least we can do is come together on a bipartisan basis to provide a privacy bill of rights for children and minors in our country.”

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The legislation would amend the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act to tighten protections against collecting data on minors, forcing websites to obtain parental consent before collecting data on users under the age of 13. To collect data on those ages 13-15, it would require websites to secure consent from the users themselves.

The bill would also prohibit using such data for advertising targeted at children.

The lawmakers have tried introducing the bill several times over the past decade, with little success.

“Our kids and teens are growing up in a digital world, surrounded by online and mobile technology. With this technology comes concerns about children’s online privacy,” Barton said in a statement Wednesday. “I believe this legislation is an important step in protecting minors from online and mobile tracking, targeted advertising and data collection.”