Despite parents' best efforts, it's nearly impossible to prevent Internet companies from secretly tracking kids online. Worse, if parents say NO to online marketing and advertising, companies have ways of getting around the current rules. Companies can still use tracking software, such as cookies, that collect information to target a child.
Parents have little control because our nation's internet privacy law for kids hasn't been updated for nearly 13 years!
The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) is an important privacy safeguard for children 12 and under, but it hasn't been updated for over a decade. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has proposed updates to COPPA so that cookies and other software are explicitly covered, giving parents much more control.
Parents should have the right to say NO to the tracking and targeting of children under 13. Tell the FTC to help update privacy laws to give parents the tools they need to protect their children online.
Parents should have the right to protect children from unwanted Internet tracking and marketing, but right now they can't, because our outdated children's privacy law hasn't kept pace with technology. I strongly urge you to help update the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) this year, and give parents the right tools to prevent this unwanted invasion of their children's privacy.
It's been nearly 13 years since COPPA was updated, and advances in technology have made it virtually impossible for even the most vigilant parent to prevent online tracking of their children.
Hidden tracking code, data collectors selling online profiles of children and teens, and sly ads and marketing make our children more vulnerable than ever. It's time the Federal Trade Commission puts control back in parents' hands, and supports and passes legislation this year that will:
-- Stop Internet companies from sending targeted advertising to children and minors.
-- Allow parents to say no to the collection of personal and location information for their children under 13, and enforce it.
-- Give teens ages 13 to 18 the right to also opt-out of this tracking and data collection.
-- Require website operators to have an "eraser button" to delete information about children and minors.
-- Update existing law so it covers advanced applications and mobile technology, such as smartphones.
Thank you for supporting the need to protect young children from internet tracking. Giving parents and teens the necessary tools to opt-out of this kind of tracking and marketing is an issue that everyone in Congress can get behind, and I hope the FTC will support this effort.
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