DMA: Markey-Barton ‘Do Not Track Kids’ Proposal Is ‘Off Track’
The DMA also believes that a government-mandated “Do Not Track” mechanism for kids is unnecessary, as this kind of protection for children is already effectively provided through self-regulation. The Self-Regulatory Program for Online Behavioral Advertising launched by the DMA and four other leading trade associations includes a principle that specifically addresses children, prohibiting entities from collecting personal information from children when such entities have actual knowledge that the children are under 13 or from sites directed to children under 13 for online behavioral advertising purposes. Additionally, the principle provides that entities may not engage in online behavioral advertising directed to children when the entities have actual knowledge that a child is under 13. The DMA believes that robust self-regulation is the best and most appropriate way to address privacy concerns in connection with online behavioral advertising, including concerns related to children.
Finally, the DMA believes that any legislation making changes to COPPA is premature in light of the FTC’s on-going review of the COPPA Rule. The DMA has encouraged the FTC in its review and expressed a commitment to exploring with the Commission ways to provide even more innovative online experiences, content and protections for children in the United States.
The DMA encourages Representatives Markey and Barton and their colleagues in Congress to bear in mind that children are growing up in a digital world, and increasingly their success in this global economy will depend on their ability to navigate online platforms and emerging technologies. COPPA already provides a strong framework to protect children from sexual predators, which the “Do Not Track Kids Act” cites as the main reason that parents are concerned about children revealing personal information online. It would be a disservice to our children and the U.S. economy if Congress unnecessarily inhibited growth in new areas of Internet innovation that will lead to even richer learning experiences for America’s youth. The DMA therefore continues to support COPPA in its current form, providing carefully tailored protections for children that balance the goals of keeping children safe and preserving the interactivity of the Internet.