On November 14, 2013, the Do Not Track Kids Act (S. 1700 and H.R. 3481) was introduced in both chambers of Congress by Sen. Edward Markey (D-MA), Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL), Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX), and Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL). The bill’s authors have cited increased use of the Internet by kids and teens as creating a need for the legislation. In 2011, Sen. Markey, who was then in the House, and Rep. Barton first introduced the bill in the House, where it stalled. Although now serving in separate chambers, these original sponsors have enlisted new co-sponsors from across the aisle to introduce a bipartisan bill in both the House and the Senate. The purpose of the bill is to amend the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 (“COPPA”) to include further restrictions for Internet companies seeking to collect and disclose children’s and teens’ personal and location information.
Unlike COPPA’s current coverage, which applies to children age 12 and under, the Do Not Track Kids Act would expand the law to cover teens age 15 and under. The bill would prohibit Internet companies from collecting and disclosing personal information from kids (without parental consent) and from teens (without their consent). Consent from parents (on behalf of their children) and teens would also be required before online behavioral advertisements could be displayed. Additionally, the bill would create a “Digital Marketing Bill of Rights for Teens” limiting the collection of certain personal information. Another provision would create an “Eraser Button,” which is a tool that parents and children could use to eliminate personal information made publicly available on the Internet.