Senator Markey and Reps. Castor, Trahan urge FTC to use authority to get tech companies to adhere to new platform guidelines

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In response to the new UK Child and Youth Privacy Act, popular apps and websites recently announced significant changes to their official guidelines for young users.

Washington (Oct. 8, 2021) – As major tech companies announced policy changes to protect young internet users in response to a new UK children’s privacy law, Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) And MPs Kathy Castor ( FL -14) and Lori Trahan (MA-03) wrote to the Federal Trade Commission today calling on the agency to use their full authority – including its authority under Section 5 of the FTC Act – to ensure these companies are their comply with new guidelines. The Age Appropriate Design Code (AADC) went into effect in the UK this September and requires online services for children and adolescents to meet 15 key children’s privacy standards, many of which included the 1998 Senator Markey Act to Update Act, the Children’s Online. are similar to the Privacy and Protection Act (COPPA) in the United States.

“The need to protect young people online from privacy threats is more pressing than ever. Since 2015, American children have been spending nearly five hours a day looking at their screens, and daily screen time of children and teenagers has increased by 50 percent or more during the coronavirus pandemic. wrote the legislature in their letter. “We therefore recommend that you use all the tools at your disposal to vigilantly review the data practices of companies and to ensure that they are complying with their public obligations.”

You can find a copy of the letter HERE.

In response to the AADC, Instagram publicly announced that it was “transferring young people to personal accounts, making it more difficult for potentially suspicious accounts to find young people. [and] Restricting the opportunities for advertisers to reach young people with ads. ”Google and its subsidiary YouTube announced that they will“ customize product experiences for children and teenagers ”by changing the default video uploading for teenagers between the ages of 13-17 change to “private”. Turn off location history (with no option to turn it back on) for users under the age of 18; and “block”[ing] Ad targeting based on age, gender, or interests of those under the age of 18, among others. Last year – similarly before the AADC was passed – TikTok stated that messaging was turned off and parental controls increased for the accounts of anyone under the age of 16.

The legislature states “These policy changes are not a substitute for Congressional action on children’s privacy, but they are important steps in making the Internet safer for young users.”


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