Is it morally right to track and analyse the internet history of children under 16 years of age?  An American bill called the Do Not Track Kids Act of 2013 is planning to protect children under the age of 16.  It will extend federal anti-tracking protections under the Children’s Online Protection Act (COPPA).  The bill will allow teens and parents to delete any personal public information when “technologically feasible.”

The Do Not Track Kids Act was introduced this week by Senator Ed Markey and Rep. Joe Barton.   If passed, internet companies will need parental permission before using personal information of under 16s.  They will also have to legitimise how their private data is collected and used.

Do Not Track Kids Act Introduced in US

“We must not allow the era of big data to become a big danger for children on the Internet in the 21st century,” Markey replied in a statement. “It is time for Congress to take action to ensure that children and teens are fully protected when they go online and parents have the tools they need to protect their kids.”

After the bipartisan bill was introduced, Facebook changed its private policy to take out a line that critics feel gave the social network the freedom to collect the personal data of children. However, Facebook denies this idea and says it removed this line to help avoid misinterpretation.  “This language was about getting a conversation started,” Facebook responded. “We were not seeking and would not have gained any additional rights as a result of this addition. We received feedback, though, that the language was confusing and so we removed the sentence.”

In a follow-up statement, Markey continued to claim that Facebook posed a threat to children’s privacy.  Facebook pushes teens and children to release sensitive, personal information on a worldwide, public information highway.  This, in itself, is enough to push congress to create strong protection for the privacy of their vulnerable citizens.

On the other hand, changes to Facebook’s privacy policy do include explanations that show how users personal information may be used in advertisements.  The question is, do children under 16 concern themselves about these explanations?

[Image via theepochtimes]