Congressmen Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Joe Barton (R-Texas), co-Chairmen of the Bi-Partisan Congressional Privacy Caucus released the following statement after the Obama's administration's release of a blueprint for consumer's privacy bill of rights.
"The Obama administration's framework announced today is an important starting point for strengthening privacy protections for consumers," said Rep. Markey. "Internet users need clear explanations about how their personal data is used and the power to control their own information. Children and teens are particularly vulnerable, and added protections for this group must be included in stringent, legally-enforceable safeguards.
"Consumers, not corporations, should be in control of personal information. Voluntary, self-regulatory efforts are not a substitute for laws that keep consumers information safe from prying eyes.
"Now is the time for new legislation to update the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act to take into account the explosive growth and innovation in the online ecosystem since COPPA was passed in 1998. I have introduced The Do Not Track Kids Act to provide commonsense protections for children and teens for the 21st century online universe. It puts parents in control over what information is collected from their children online.
"There is strong bipartisan support for the Do Not Track Kids Act and the larger issue of online privacy. I look forward to working with my colleagues and the administration to pass the Do Not Track Kids Act this year to strengthen privacy safeguards and ensure that kids and teens are protected when they go online," concluded Rep. Markey.
"I am happy the White House is taking consumer privacy serious, working with private industry to develop a privacy bill of rights for Internet companies to follow," said Rep. Barton. "However, without the adoption of this list of "best practices" by Internet companies, the new guidelines will not be enforceable. The absence of an enforcement mechanism means consumers remain unprotected. That is why I feel Congress must act to ensure transparency among Internet companies that engage in data collection and usage. I hope this first step energizes my colleagues to join me in pushing for stricter privacy measures that gives every consumer the power to decide how their personal information is used."
Last May, Reps. Markey and Barton introduced H.R. 1895, The "Do Not Track Kids Act of 2011", legislation that amends COPPA to extend, enhance and update the provisions relating to the collection, use and disclosure of children's personal information. The legislation also establishes new protections for the personal information of children and teens.