A Democratic lawmaker said this week she will reintroduce a bill that would restrict online companies from collecting teens' data.
“Few things are more concerning to me than the ways Big Tech, including data brokers, have proliferated the surveillance and targeting of our kids,” Rep. Kathy Castor (D-Florida) said at a hearing this week.
“We know that Big Tech has enabled advertisers to target children for a whole range of damaging products -- ranging from tobacco and e-cigarettes to low calorie diets that can create and exacerbate body image anxieties," she added.
She said she plans to reintroduce the “Protecting the Information of our Vulnerable Children and Youth Act,” also called the “Kids PRIVCY Act” -- versions of which she introduced in 2020 and 2021.
The more recent version of that bill would have prohibited websites and apps likely to be accessed by minors under 18 from serving ads to those users based on their online behavior or personal information.
That bill also would have barred websites and apps from collecting personal data from users between the ages of 13 and 17 without their explicit consent -- except to the extent that the data was needed to provide a service, or to support internal operations.
Castor and other lawmakers at this week's hearing also voiced support for the proposed American Data Privacy and Protection Act -- a bipartisan bill that was introduced last year.
The proposed law would have imposed a host of restrictions on companies, including a ban on collecting or processing data about people's cross-site activity for advertising purposes.
That ban would have effectively outlawed a form of behavioral targeting by preventing companies from serving ads to web users based on their browsing activity.