How to Contact Congress about the Do Not Track Kids Act

June 11, 2012 ...
The following recommendations come from a posting on Common Sense Media…

You can reach your representative by going to:

Common Sense Media recommends you use the following script when emailing or calling your representative:

"Sample phone or email script:

“I believe it’s important that kids and teens are protected online. We need to shield them from online tracking and targeting and ensure their privacy is guarded. Parents especially need the tools to protect their kids when they use the Internet. I’m calling/emailing to urge my representative to help strengthen privacy safeguards so that kids and teens are protected when they go online. Please cosponsor H.R. 1895, the Do Not Track Kids Act.”

Background on the issue as posted on Common Sense Media:

-- Children and teens should be able to use the internet to access communication, education, and entertainment opportunities in a safe environment.

-- But with online companies collecting personal information and tracking consumers’ every move, children and teens are vulnerable. Sensitive, personal information can be collected and used to track online behavior. Companies can then use that information to target ads or sell it to other companies.

-- Websites directed towards children are more likely to track user activities, installing up to 30% MORE cookies and tracking programs than the top 50 general interest sites.

-- America’s children’s online privacy law needs to be updated to include new mobile and location tracking technologies. Congress passed the current children’s online privacy law, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, in 1998 – before websites like Facebook and Twitter existed.

-- Parents should have the tools to delete information their kids put online, and teens should as well. What children post online should not haunt them as they apply for college, a job, and beyond.

-- Now is the time for new legislation to protect kids and prevent them from being tracked online.

-- Parents and families need the ‘Do Not Track’ bill so that kids do not have their online behavior tracked or their personal information collected or profiled.

Background on the bill as reported by Common Sense Media:

-- The Do Not Track Kids Act strengthens privacy protections for children and teens.

-- Online companies will have to explain the types of personal information collected about children and teens, how that information is used and disclosed, and their policies for collection of personal information.

-- Online companies will have to obtain parental consent before collecting children’s personal information.

-- Online companies will be prohibited from using kids’ and teens’ personal information for targeted marketing purposes.

-- The bill will establish a “Digital Marketing Bill of Rights for Teens” that limits the collection of teens' personal information, including geo-location information.

-- The bill will create an “Eraser Button” for parents and children by requiring companies to allow users to eliminate publicly available personal information when technologically feasible.

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