Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Kids should be kids: Stop Internet companies from tracking and targeting them!

Dear Kevin,

Americans across the nation today are writing and calling their members of Congress with a simple request: Stop Internet companies from secretly tracking children online!

If you can lend your voice to this important national effort, take a moment to send an email now. If you can do more, forward this email to five of your friends and family so they can speak out today, too.

Kids should be kids: Stop Internet companies from tracking and targeting them!

It’s been 13 years since Congress passed an Internet privacy bill for kids, and the law hasn’t kept pace with technology. It’s virtually impossible nowadays for parents to protect their kids from unwanted online tracking and targeting – even if they’re looking over their shoulders.

The Wall Street Journal examined 50 popular kids’ websites two years ago, finding more than 4,000 hidden ‘cookies’ and tracking devices left behind. Some of these cookies are harmless. But data-collection companies also use these tools to follow kids online, creating profiles of their age, shopping habits, hobbies and general location. That data can be sold to advertisers and others, and parents can do little to stop it.

But a bipartisan bill now in Congress would update the law to put control back in parents’ hands. The bill would stop targeted Internet advertising to minors; prohibit the collection of personal and location information from children under 13 without parental consent; and increase protections for teens online.

Add your voice today, and ask your members to support this bipartisan bill!

Giving parents the tools to protect kids shouldn’t be a political issue, so urge your elected officials to get on board and support this bill. Please take action, then forward this to five of your friends and family so they can ask their members, too.

Sincerely,
Ioana Rusu, HearUsNow.org
Consumers Union, Policy & Action from Consumer Reports
1101 17th Street NW,
Suite 500
Washington, DC 20036

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