By Christin S. McMeley, Paul Glist, and Leslie Gallagher Moylan
A bipartisan, bicameral effort is again underway to extend current law and impose new restraints on the online tracking of children and teens under the age of 16. As promised, on Thursday, Nov.14, 2013, Senator Edward Markey (D-Mass) and Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) introduced their respective versions (S. 1700 and H.R. 3481) of the “Do Not Track Kids Act of 2013.” Specifically, the Do Not Track Kids Act would:
· Extend many of the privacy protections already afforded to children ages 12 and under in the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) to teens through age 15 ;
· Formally include online and mobile applications (the FTC already did this through enforcement actions and then by rule in its recent COPPA amendments);
· Expand the definition of “personal information” to include device identifiers;
· Extend COPPA protections to geolocation information;
· Prohibit targeted marketing to children and minors without verifiable parental consent for children or the consent of a “minor” (13-15 year old);
· Require the operators of a website, online service, or online or mobile application “directed to minors” to adopt and comply with a “Digital Marketing Bill of Rights for Teens” that is consistent with the Fair Information Practices Principles; and
· Attempt to arm parents and their children with an “eraser button” to eliminate publically available personal information online.
Using momentum gained from the ineffective attempts to establish broader, voluntary Do Not Track standards and mechanisms, California’s recent “Do Not Track” and “Eraser” laws, and increased interest by lawmakers in online tracking and privacy issues generally, Senator Markey and Congressman Barton have focused their efforts “to protect children and teens”—which may be the only way to advance the broader Do Not Track concept in a stymied Congress.Continue Reading...