A bipartisan group of U.S. senators are urging the Federal Commerce Fee to research how media and tech firms, together with these concerned in distance studying, acquire and course of information
“Kids are a uniquely susceptible inhabitants,” the lawmakers write in a letter despatched Friday to the 5 company commissioners. The letter was signed by Sens.
Ed Markey (D-Massachusetts), Josh Hawley (R-Missouri), Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut), Invoice Cassidy (R-Louisiana), Richard Durbin (D-Illinois) and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee).
write that on-line platforms and software program “have change into integral to American training” because of the COVID-19 outbreak, however contend that many academic expertise providers have
inconsistent privateness and safety requirements. The lawmakers particularly reference a 2019 report by Frequent Sense Media, which discovered that 38% of the 100 most
common academic apps and providers indicated they might use kids’s info for third-party advertising and marketing.
Markey and the others additionally notice that the pandemic has resulted in kids
spending extra time watching on-line movies, which the lawmakers say might pose privateness dangers.
“The place kids’s privateness is anxious, the coronavirus pandemic has reworked greater than
simply ed tech: it has additionally modified kids’s leisure — together with the market to push ads and merchandise to younger folks,” they write.
“Manufacturers are keen to attach
with customers at younger ages,” they add. “This steep demand for kids’s consideration on-line comes with a steep demand for his or her private info.”
Markey and the others
are asking the FTC to make use of its subpoena energy to demand a bunch of detailed details about tech firms’ information practices, together with what the businesses acquire from kids and teenagers, how firms
acquire and course of biometric information, and whether or not the businesses have suffered information breaches.
The Federal Commerce Fee is at the moment contemplating whether or not to revise laws that implement
the Kids’s On-line Privateness Safety Act. That legislation usually prohibits web site operators from knowingly gathering private info — together with web-browsing information used for focused promoting
— from kids below 13, with out their dad and mom’ consent. The FTC says colleges can consent in lieu of fogeys, in academic contexts, however provided that the knowledge is used for a school-authorized
Markey and the opposite senators say the company “ought to take excessive warning to not weaken” that legislation’s protections.
— to www.mediapost.com