Washington (August 11, 2022) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-MA), a member of the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, issued the following statement after the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced a preliminary notice of proposed rulemaking to strengthen protections consumer privacy on the Internet:
“As a longtime advocate of comprehensive privacy protections, I wholeheartedly support the Federal Trade Commission’s efforts to examine strong online privacy rules. I thank Chairman Khan for her tireless work on consumer protection and look forward to working with her and the rest of the Commission on this matter. While a major overhaul of online privacy protections is needed, it is not a substitute for action by Congress. We have reached a tipping point when it comes to children’s and young people’s online wellbeing. I applaud Commissioners Slaughter and Bedoya for highlighting children and teenagers as a vulnerable population online, as reckless use of data online can pose an increased threat to young people.
“Protecting children online has long been a top priority of mine, and I’m calling for our laws to be modernized to end harmful and invasive data collection practices that target and harm our children and teens. It is time for Congress to seize the moment and act with the urgency these issues demand by passing my bipartisan legislation, The Law on Protection of Privacy of Children and Adolescents on the Internet.”
The The Law on Protection of Privacy of Children and Adolescents on the Internet, co-sponsored by Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and Commerce Committee members Richard Blumenthal (D-Connect.) and Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), would prohibit Internet companies from collecting personal information from anyone aged 13 to 16 years old. – years without the user’s consent; prohibit targeted marketing to children; create an online “Eraser” button, requiring companies to allow users to delete personal information from a child or teenager; introduce the Digital Marketing Minors Bill of Rights, which limits the collection of personal information of young users; and creating a first-of-its-kind Division of Privacy and Marketing to Youth at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which will be responsible for addressing children’s and minors’ privacy issues, as well as marketing to children and minors.
In September 2021, Senator Markey joined Senator Blumenthal in sending a letter to the Federal Trade Commission urging the Commission to advance consumer privacy rulemaking, strengthen civil rights, and place limits on the collection and use of personal consumer data.
In June 2022, Senator Markey again called for privacy regulations in a letter he sent to the FTC, urging the Commission to use the full scope of its authority to protect marginalized communities online. In the letter, Senator Markey and his colleagues emphasized that communities of color are particularly vulnerable to discriminatory and harmful online data practices and called on the FTC to use its rulemaking authority to end such practices. In the same letter, Senator Markey called on the Federal Chamber of Commerce to use all its powers to combat invasive and discriminatory biometric surveillance.