Your Kids, for Sale: Do Not Track Kids Act

Posted May 16, 2011 in Internet Law by Arthur Buono

Congressmen Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Joe Barton (R-Tex.) have cosponsored a bill to create new privacy protections for free-ranging teens. Called the "Do Not Track Kids Act of 2011," the bill has a list of dos and don’ts for websites and mobile apps targeting or used by teens. The bill also gives a good look at why federal laws are made.

  • New bill aims to curb the harvesting of data about kids
  • Requires parental consent to tracking kids’, teens’ online/mobile activities
  • Majority of parents worried about who knows what about their kids
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Keeping Control of Your Kids’ Private Data

Of course online privacy’s been a very hot topic over the past year as social networking and life online have become a cradle-to-grave activity. Toss in the mobile web and geolocation, and website and mobile apps not only know everything about you, but where to find you too. So it’s no surprise that Senators John Kerry (D-Mass) and John McCain (R.-Ariz) and the FTC are looking out for consenting adults even.

Kids are a special case. When it comes to tech, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 may as well be the Golden Rule. A good start in need of elaboration. So Do Not Track Kids takes into account both the mobile phenomenon and the fact that COPPA said to 13-year olds, "sorry kid, you’re on your own now."

Do Not Track Kids, and the Kerry-McCain bill, aren’t laws looking for problems. These are responses to real changes in society. With upwards of 90 percent of parents saying they would support additional measures to protect their kids’ privacy online (see sec. 2 "Findings" for some astonishing facts), laws to make this so are inevitable. Because nobody’s going to take away those kids’ smartphones.

Related Apps for Your Smartphone*

Hootsuite for iPad – popular social media manager untethered. Free
Shazam – what is that noise your child’s listening to? Free
White Noise - very possibly a parent’s best friend. Free

*Please note that these apps are for informational purposes only, and neither LexisNexis nor endorses these apps or accepts liability for their use.

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