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Vincent Iannelli, M.D.

Do Not Track Kids Act of 2011

By February 12, 2012

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Surfing the Internet - Photo by John E Davidson/Getty ImagesWhat's the first thing that you think of when you hear COPPA?

Is it the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act, a law that helps protect the personal information of our kids when they go online?

If so, did you know that COPPA is 13 years old, was passed in an internet age before cookies and other tracking technologies were being used, and doesn't cover teens, who frequently use social networking sites, like Facebook?

To help protect our kids from new and emerging health and safety concerns on the internet, the American Academy of Pediatrics strongly supports the Do Not Track Kids Act of 2011, which will help to update and strengthen privacy protections for children and teens by:

  • better informing users and increasing transparency by explaining what type of information websites collect and what they do with it
  • increasing accountability by requiring consent before personal information is collected by websites, either from parents (for younger children) or by teens themselves
  • creating a "Digital Marketing Bill of Rights for Teens" that in addition to other things, will create an "Erase Button," so that things teens post don't have to stay online and follow them forever

While no privacy protection law will likely ever be perfect, as kids can enter fake ages when they sign up at websites and too much privacy protection can limit how much kids can take advantage of good things on the internet, the Do Not Track Kids Act of 2011 is a good step towards making our kids a little safer online.

Learn more about the Do Not Track Kids Act and urge your representative to become a cosponsor and get it passed. Unlike SOPA and PIPA, which recently got a lot of negative attention, the Do Not Track Kids Act of 2011 is a bill with bi-partisan support.

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