New Bill Would Prevent Behavioral Targeting Of Young Teens

Five lawmakers in the House and Senate have reintroduced the “Do Not Track Kids” Act, which would prohibit companies from collecting data from children under the age of 15.

The measure also provides for an “eraser button,” which would enable parents and children to delete some publicly available information about themselves.

“The Do Not Track Kids Act puts parents in control of their children’s information and contains common sense protections for teenagers,” Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) said Thursday in a statement.

The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act already prohibits companies from collecting “personal information” -- including geolocation data and data about Web-surfing activity across sites -- from children under 13, without their parents' consent.

The new measure would extend those provisions to teens between the ages of 13 and 15. The bill is co-sponsored by Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas), Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.)

In 2011, Markey and Barton introduced an earlier version of the bill. That measure would have restricted companies' ability to use behavioral marketing techniques on all minors under the age of 18.

Two years ago, California became the first state in the country to pass a version of an “eraser button” law. That measure allows minors to remove content they've posted to social media services, but Twitter, Facebook and the other major platforms have long allowed people of all ages to delete their own posts.

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