Common Sense Media Holds First Town Hall on Online and Mobile Privacy for Kids

“Tracked Everywhere: What Parents Need to Know About Protecting Kids’ Privacy Online” was first forum for parents to share their concerns with industry leaders and policymakers
For immediate release
Thursday, September 1, 2011

Mountain View, Calif. – Last night, Common Sense Media, the national nonprofit organization dedicated to helping kids and families thrive in a world of media and technology, held its first town hall about kids’ online and mobile privacy at the Computer History Museum. “Tracked Everywhere: What Parents Need to Know About Protecting Kids’ Privacy Online” brought parents and caregivers together with industry leaders to voice their questions and concerns about how kids’ information is being shared and used in a digital world.

“As we learned last night, parents have many concerns about their kids’ privacy when they're online – everything from data tracking to identity theft and reputation management,” said James Steyer, CEO and founder, Common Sense Media, the host of the event. “This forum was a great opportunity to better understand these issues and what can be done about them. We look forward to many more of these conversations at town halls across the country.”

Panelists and parents discussed the current state of online privacy and the online tracking and profiling of kids, as well as what everyone in the community – including parents, teachers, policymakers, and industry leaders – can and should do to protect kids’ privacy both online and on mobile platforms.

In addition to Steyer, the panel included Congresswoman Jackie Speier (CA-12), member of the House Oversight and Government Reform and Homeland Security committees; Michelle Dennedy, chief privacy officer, McAfee Inc. and founder, The iDennedy Project; Gary Kovacs, CEO, Mozilla; and Owen Tripp, co-founder and COO, Reputation.com. The moderator was Kara Swisher, co-executive editor of “All Things D” and a contributor to The Wall Street Journal.

“Our customers ask us all of the time how to control their personal information on social networks, particularly Facebook,” said Tripp. “The privacy policies are so complicated that people are not confident in their ability to control their own information. Parents should know – there are simple solutions available that can prevent their kids from posting revealing or regrettable information. Don’t let your child end up with a digital tattoo they’ll soon lament!”

“As we spend more and more of our lives online, it becomes incredibly important that we understand how our personal information is collected and tracked across the Web,” added Kovacs. “We believe that the browser has a key role to play in building and delivering technologies that put users in control of their online experience.”

For more information about the “Tracked Everywhere” series of national town halls, visit www.commonsense.org/tracked-everywhere.

About Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media is dedicated to improving the lives of kids and families by providing the trustworthy information, education, and independent voice they need to thrive in a world of media and technology. We exist because our kids are growing up in a culture that profoundly impacts their physical, social, and emotional well-being. We provide families with the advice and media reviews they need in order to make the best choices for their children. Through our education programs and policy efforts, Common Sense Media empowers parents, educators, and young people to become knowledgeable and responsible digital citizens. For more information, go to: www.commonsense.org.

Press Contacts:
Lisa Cohen
310-395-2544
lisa@lisacohen.org

Colby Zintl
415-553-6753
colby@commonsense.org

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