New privacy bill would give parents an ‘Eraser Button’ and ban ads targeting children

Today, two senators have proposed a major update to one of the only federal privacy laws in the United States. If approved, changes to the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) would codify a set of parental controls and ban advertising aimed at minors.

Sens. Ed Markey (D-MA) and Josh Hawley (R-MO) plan to file today the bipartisan measure that would amend COPPA to extend the protection of privacy to children up to the age of 15. COPPA already prohibits companies such as Facebook and Google from collecting personal data and location information from anyone under the age of 13 without explicit parental consent, but the new Senate Bill amending the law would extend protection to children up to 15 years old. However, if approved, the platforms could only collect data from children aged 13 to 15 years with their own personal consent and not that of their parents.

"In 2019, every movement of children and adolescents is monitored online, and even the smallest are bombarded with advertising when they connect online to do their homework, talk with friends, and play games." In the 21st century, we need to pass the bipartisan and bicameral COPPA 2.0 legislation that places children's well-being at the top of the Congress priority list, if we can agree on something, it should be that children deserve strong and effective protections online " .

A meaningful update would be increased controls. Legislation would give parents personal information about their children on these platforms. If approved, it would create what senators called a "draft button" that would remove all of a child's data from the related service. If a parent or child decides to delete all their data, no platform can interrupt the service to that user.

Last month, the Federal Trade Commission penalized the parent company of TikTok with a record $ 5.7 million for violating current COPPA regulations. In a press release, the FTC stated that TikTok was collecting the personal data of children under 13 without receiving the explicit consent of their parents. Under these proposed rules, applications and platforms such as TikTok would also have to comply with the strongest privacy protections for children up to 15 years of age.

Platforms would also be prohibited from publishing ads aimed at children under 13 years of age.

When the time comes For connected devices and toys aimed at children, the bill would also ensure that businesses and manufacturers include some type of disclosure in the parent packet that details how they will be collected, retained, shared and protected the data of your children. And if those devices do not meet a set of strong cybersecurity standards, they will be banned from accessing stores.

Once approved, companies would have a year before they would have to reveal to their users, in plain language, the types of data they collect, how they are used, and the mechanisms used to ensure that data is not collected. minors.

"Large technology companies know too much about our children, and even as parents, we know very little about what they are doing with our children's personal data, it's time to hold them accountable," Hawley said. "Congress must take the security of our children's information seriously, and this starts with safeguarding your online fingerprint."

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