Bloggers! Ask Rep. Markey About Kids and Online Privacy

BlogHer Original Post

Do you worry about your kids' privacy online?

Do you even know what information marketers are gathering about your child and his or her online habits?

Representative Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) -- who authored the Children’s Online Privacy Protect Act of 1998 (COPPA) for the House -- is holding a conference call for bloggers with Jim Steyer from Common Sense Media at 1:30PM EST/12:30 PM CT/10:30 AM PT on Thursday, February 2nd (that's this week!) to discuss a new bipartisan bill he's co-sponsoring, H.R. 1895, Do Not Track Kids Online -- and he wants our questions, BlogHers!

Here's a statement about the bill released by Rep. Markey's office:

While the Internet remains an incredible tool for learning and sharing, it has also become a point of entry for companies into our homes. Tracking the online movements of children and teens -- and collecting their personal data -- has quickly become widespread. In fact, websites directed towards children and teens are more likely to use "cookies" to track user activities. Companies that collect this information about children and teens then sell the information to advertisers and data brokers.

Many parents already see the dangerous of this tracking and data collection. Studies show that 92% of teens and 94% of parents said they would like to be allowed to delete their children’s personal information from search engines and social networking sites.

In response to this need to protect children and teens from online tracking and targeting, the co-chairs of the Congressional Privacy Caucus (Rep. Ed Markey D-MA and Rep. Joe Barton R-TX) have introduced legislation to prohibit Internet companies from collecting personal and location information from anyone under 13 without parental consent and anyone under 18 without the user’s consent. The legislation would also prohibit companies from sending targeted advertising to children and minors and require website operators to have an “eraser button” capability that enables the deletion or elimination of information about children and minors.

Rep. Ed Markey

Credit Image: : Photo by James Colburn/ZUMA Press. (©) Copyright 2006 by James Colburn

Here's Rep. Markey talking about the need to keep up with the changes of the Internet since 1998.

How many rules should we put around kids' use of the Internet? That question kicks up all sorts of dilemmas. Here's some reading to help bring you up to speed.

If you are a blogger, please join us this Thursday at 1:30 pm ET! To confirm your participation in the conference call, send an email with your name and company/blog/organization to tdegnan@commonsense.org.

To ask questions during the call, tweet them to Common Sense Media (@CommonSenseNews) using the hashtag #kidsprivacy. If time allows, we will also open up the call at the end for you to share your thoughts and questions.

If you do tweet questions, please include hashtag #blogher so we can see!

If you're unable to attend, no worries -- please leave your question in the comments below and we will try to ask for you!

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