U.S. Sen. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) and U.S. Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) have reportedly introduced joint legislation (S. 1700 and H.R. 3481) that would expand the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 (COPPA) to cover children older than age 12 and establish new rules for collecting, storing and disclosing their personal information. Titled the Do Not Track Kids Act of 2013, the initiative includes provisions that "would extend protection to teens ages 13 to 15 by prohibiting Internet companies from collecting personal and location information from teens without their consent and would create an ‘eraser button’ so parents and children could eliminate publicly available personal information content, when technologically feasible."
According to Markey, who in September 2013 asked the Federal Trade Commission to investigate Facebook’s decision to change its privacy settings for teens, the legislation seeks to draw congressional attention to "the speed with which Facebook is pushing teens to share their sensitive, personal information widely and publicly online." To this end, the new rules would also (i) "prohibit Internet companies from collecting personal and location information from anyone under 13 without parental consent"; (ii) "require consent of the parent or teen prior to sending targeted advertising to children and teens"; (iii) "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"; and (iv) "require online companies to explain the types of personal information collected, how that information is used and disclosed, and the policies for collection of personal information."
"Although the Internet is an incredible place for children to learn and share, it has also become a tool for trollers and trackers to target them and sell their information to advertisers," added Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) in a November 14, 2013, press release. "The Do Not Track Kids Act would strengthen online safeguards for children by providing new tools for oversight, including parental permission for collecting personal information and storing photos—practices rapidly becoming more rampant." See Press Releases of Senator Edward Markey, November 14 and 15, 2013.