US lawmakers reintroduce bill to protect minors from online data collection
© WikiMedia (www.Pixel.la Free Stock Photos)

US lawmakers reintroduce bill to protect minors from online data collection

Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) and Representative Joe Barton (R-TX) [official websites] reintroduced a bill [text, PDF] on Wednesday that would strengthen privacy protections for minors online.

The bill, known as the Do Not Track Kids Act of 2018, would amend the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) by allowing internet companies to collect personal data from children under 13 only with a parent’s consent, and to collect data from children 13-15 only with the child’s consent. The act would also prohibit advertising targeted to minors. Internet companies would also be required to explain how they would use the personal information to parents and minors.

“COPPA is the communications constitution for protecting kids online, but we need to update it to reflect the explosive growth and innovation in the online ecosystem. The Do Not Track Kids Act puts parents in control of their children’s information and contains commonsense protections for teenagers,” said [press release] Markey.

Online data collection has made headlines within the last year. Earlier this month Android users filed a lawsuit [JURIST report] against Facebook for invasion of privacy. In February a German court ruled [JURIST report] Facebook’s use of personal data was illegal. That same month a Belgian court ruled [JURIST report] that Facebook’s collection of personal data was illegal. In October the US Senate introduced legislation [JURIST report] to substantially reform warrantless internet surveillance.