Do-Not-Track Bill Discussed in House of Representatives

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Top 10 Privacy Issues for 2011

Social media and location-based technologies top the list of concerns.

As much as the experts were surprised that the McCain-Kerry bill on Internet privacy did not contain do-not-track provisions, we should have seen this one coming. The Wall Street Journal reported over the weekend that members of the House have released a draft do-not-track bill with bipartisan support. But this bill particularly addresses tracking children.


A discussion draft of the Do Not Track Kids Act of 2011 was released by Reps. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) and Joe Barton (R-Texas), who co-chair the Bipartisan Congressional Privacy Caucus. Though current federal law requires websites aimed at children under 13 to obtain parental consent before collecting information on their kids, this one goes quite a bit further. Barton said of the bill:

We have reached a troubling point in the state of business when companies that conduct business online are so eager to make a buck, they resort to targeting our children. I strongly believe that information should not be collected on children and used for commercial purposes.

To that end, the bill would prohibit websites collecting information on anyone under the age of 18 without parental consent and from using that information for behavioral advertising purposes - or providing it to other companies. Moreover, it includes provisions that would require websites to include an "eraser" mechanism that would allow parents to get rid of information that had already been collected about their children.


Sen. John D. Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) also plans to introduce legislation requiring websites to offer do-not-track options, the story says.