Last Friday, Reps. Ed Markey (D-MA) and Joe Barton (R-TX) introduced House Bill 1895, the Do Not Track Kids Act of 2011, which would amend the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and introduce additional provisions to govern the collection and use of teens' personal information. (You can find CDT's unofficial redline, reflecting the changes the DNT Kids Act makes to COPPA, here.) This bill is motivated by sincere concerns for the fate of children and teens' personal information online, and we appreciate the Representatives' bipartisan attention to the important issue of online privacy. We strongly agree that users' personal information warrants legal protection, and CDT remains committed to passing baseline privacy legislation that protects all users, regardless of their age. Unfortunately, the DNT Kids Act suffers from familiar problems common to proposals targeting minors' data: The Act could lead us down a path of mandatory age verification and increased collection of personal information from all users, and could infringe the rights of teenagers to access completely appropriate, lawful speech online.
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