- The Washington Times - Monday, June 4, 2018

Two prominent Democrats announced a new bill Monday to give kids a chance to erase any data internet companies collected on them before they turned 13, saying children deserve a chance to experiment online without having it follow them for their whole lives.

Dubbed the Clean Slate for Kids Online Act, the bill would apply both to data the kids and their parents turned over about them, but also to data the internet companies built up on their own concerning the kids.

The bill is sponsored by Sen. Richard Durbin of Illinois and Ed Markey of Massachusetts, and has the backing of some children’s advocacy groups.

“In today’s era of ‘big data,’ kids are using the internet every day without fully understanding the consequences of every click,” Mr. Durbin said. “Preteen children do not realize that their internet usage helps create a data profile of them that could last their whole lives.”

He and Mr. Markey said internet companies are targeting preteens with services such as Facebook Messenger Kids and YouTube Kids.

The senators said even when a parent has consented to a child’s activity, the kid should get a chance at a do-over.

“Youth today should have the right to develop, the right to explore, and the right to make mistakes and to be able to delete them online,” Mr. Markey said.

A 1998 federal law currently requires sites to get permission from a parent or guardian before collecting information from children under 13. It also includes a limited ability to ask a company to expunge its collected data.


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