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 MarkeyKennedy, Markey neck-and-neck in Massachusetts primary: poll Overnight Energy: EPA to regulate 'forever chemicals' in drinking water | Trump budget calls for slashing funds for climate science centers | House Dems urge banks not to fund drilling in Arctic refuge Democratic senators criticize plan that could expand Arctic oil and gas development MORE (D-Mass.) and Rep. Joe BartonJoe Linus BartonEx-Tea Party lawmakers turn heads on K Street Longtime GOP aide to launch lobbying shop Katie Hill resignation reignites push for federal 'revenge porn' law 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 RushHouse passes historic legislation to make lynching a federal hate crime No exceptions when it comes to our kids' health Ocasio-Cortez suggests a Bloomberg presidency would pave the way for 'a worse Trump' 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.”