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 MarkeyEd MarkeyOvernight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Senate Democrats ding Biden energy proposal Six Democrats blast Energy Department's uranium reserve pitch Facebook draws lawmaker scrutiny over Instagram's impact on teens MORE (D-Mass.) and Rep. Joe BartonJoe Linus BartonRep. Ron Wright dies after contracting COVID-19 Biden's gain is Democratic baseball's loss with Cedric Richmond Bottom line 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 RushManchin puts foot down on key climate provision in spending bill Overnight Energy: Democrats tout new report to defend KeystoneXL cancellation Democrats argue new report on Keystone pipelines bolsters Biden cancellation  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.”