WASHINGTON, July 27 (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate Commerce Committee voted on Wednesday to approve a measure that would raise the age for children to receive special online privacy protections to 16 and ban targeted advertising to children by companies such as TikTok and Snapchat (SNAP.N) without consent.
The bill, which passed by voice vote, will now go before the full Senate. There is no version of this bill currently in the House of Representatives.
The bipartisan bill, sponsored by Sen. Edward Markey, a Democrat, along with Sens. Bill Cassidy, Richard Blumenthal and Cynthia Lummis, would raise the age from 12 to 16 for children who are granted special online privacy protections under the updated 1998 Markey Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).
Markey has previously criticized companies such as Meta’s Facebook ( META.O ), Google’s ( GOOGL.O ) YouTube, TikTok and Snapchat. read on
Under the new bill, companies would be prohibited from collecting personal information about anyone 16 and under without consent, and would require companies to allow young users to delete personal information. It would also create an office at the Federal Trade Commission, which currently enforces COPPA, to address online privacy and marketing issues related to minors.
Broad privacy legislation that would protect adults has been regularly introduced in Congress but has failed due to arguments over whether it would take precedence over state laws, which are sometimes stronger, or whether individuals would be allowed to sue for privacy violations.
A US House committee this month approved a bill to create the first US privacy law to limit the personal information companies collect online, but its fate in the Senate is uncertain. read on
Reporting by Diane Bartz Editing by Marguerite Choi
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