Consumer Watchdog Backs Do Not Track Kids Bill; Says All Ages Deserve Protection

SANTA MONICA, CA – Consumer Watchdog has endorsed the bipartisan, bicameral Do Not Track Kids bill introduced in Congress today, but added that all users of the Internet should be entitled to protection by a Do Not Track law.

“This bill would provide important protection for teens and is a significant step forward,” said John M. Simpson, Consumer Watchdog’s Privacy Project Director. “However, ultimately what’s needed is a law that guarantees that all users of the Internet won’t be tracked when they don’t want their information taken.”

The fact that the bill was introduced in both houses of Congress and is sponsored by Democrats and Republicans underscores that privacy is a bipartisan concern, Consumer Watchdog said.

Sen. Jay Rockefeller, (D-W.Va.) has introduced a general Do Not Track bill in the Senate.

The Do Not Track Kids bill, introduced in the Senate by Sen. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and in the House by Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) and Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.), would:

• Prohibit Internet companies from collecting personal and location information from anyone under 13 without parental consent and anyone 13 to 15 years old without the user’s consent;

• Require consent of the parent or teen prior to sending targeted advertising to children and teens;

• Establish a “Digital Marketing Bill of Rights for Teens” that limits the collection of personal information of teens, including geo-location information of children and teens;

• Create an “Eraser Button” for parents and children by requiring companies to permit users to eliminate publicly available personal information content when technologically feasible; and

• Require online companies to explain the types of personal information

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collected, how that information is used and disclosed, and the policies for collection of personal information.

Read the Do Not Track Kids Act here: http://www.markey.senate.gov/documents/2013-11-14_Markey_DNTK.pdf

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Visit our website at www.ConsumerWatchdog.org

Published by John M. Simpson

John M. Simpson is a leading voice on technological privacy and stem cell research issues. His investigations this year of Google’s online privacy practices and book publishing agreements triggered intense media scrutiny and federal interest in the online giant’s business practices. His critique of patents on human embryonic stem cells has been key to expanding the ability of American scientists to conduct stem cell research. He has ensured that California’s taxpayer-funded stem cell research will lead to broadly accessible and affordable medicine and not just government-subsidized profiteering. Prior to joining Consumer Watchdog in 2005, he was executive editor of Tribune Media Services International, a syndication company. Before that, he was deputy editor of USA Today and editor of its international edition. Simpson taught journalism a Dublin City University in Ireland, and consulted for The Irish Times and The Gleaner in Jamaica. He served as president of the World Editors Forum. He holds a B.A. in philosophy from Harpur College of SUNY Binghamton and was a Gannett Fellow at the Center for Asian and Pacific Studies at the University of Hawaii. He has an M.A. in Communication Management from USC’s Annenberg School for Communication.

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