Protecting our kids from online tracking

Our kids and teens are growing up in a digital world, surrounded by online and mobile technology. They create and consume enormous amounts of content, and can connect with people and information around the world.

While the Internet presents tremendous opportunities for entertainment, innovation, and learning, this digital interaction also raises concerns about kids’ and teens’ online privacy and digital footprint.

On November 14, 2013, a group of bicameral, bipartisan members of Congress, Senators Ed Markey and Mark Kirk along with Representatives Joe Barton and Bobby Rush, introduced a bill that enhances online privacy protection for kids and teens, the Do Not Track Kids Act of 2013 (introduced in both the House and Senate). Here's how the bill would protect kids and teens online:

• Eraser Button: The bill would require website operators to have an “eraser button” feature that enables users 15 and under to remove content that they posted (to the extent technologically feasible).

• Opt-in for Behavioral Marketing: The bill would require companies to get parental consent for children under 13 and consent from teens aged 13-15 in order to send targeted advertising to them.

• Opt-in for Collection of Personal and Location Information: The bill would require companies to get parental consent for children under 13 and consent from teens aged 13-15 in order to collect their personal and location information.

• Digital Marketing Bill of Rights for Teens: The bill would empower teens aged 13-15 with a new set of protections, including limiting the amount of personal information companies collect and retain about them and promoting security safeguards for their personal information.

• Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) Updates: The bill would reinforce the Federal Trade Commission’s recent updates to the COPPA Rule that strengthen privacy protections for children under 13 in the online, mobile, and social networking ecosystems.

Take Action:

The Do Not Track Kids Act (senate bill: S.1700 and house bill: H.R. 3481) is supported by a growing list of senators and members of congress. If your representative is not on this list and you believe it is important that kids and teens are protected online, please contact your representatives to urge them to co-sponsor the Do Not Track Kids Act of 2013 (S. 1700 and H.R. 3481). Find contact information for your senators and members of Congress online. We need to give families choice and control over online tracking and targeting.

Text of the bills and other details can be found here: H.R. 3481 and S. 1700

Tweet to share support for #DoNotTrackKids after contacting your elected official.

Organizations Supporting Do Not Track Kids:

American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

American Academy of Pediatrics

American Family Association

American Psychoanalytic Association

Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood

“This important legislation will empower parents to protect children against the increasingly sophisticated surveillance used by online marketers,” - Dr. Susan Linn, Director, CCFC

Center for Digital Democracy

Center for Science in the Public Interest


Children Now

Common Sense

Statement from Jim Steyer, CEO and Founder, Common Sense: “We are grateful to Senator Markey and Representative Barton for their leadership in protecting kids' and teens’ online privacy and for introducing the Do Not Track Kids Act of 2013. It is especially encouraging to have bi-cameral, bi-partisan support for these privacy issues of great concern to children and families. As kids and teens live more and more of their lives in online, social network, and mobile ecosystems, this legislation empowers them to erase some of their digital footprints and to tell web operators: do not track."

Communication Workers of America

Consumer Federation of America

Consumer Watchdog

Consumers Union

“This is pro-consumer legislation that would help strengthen online protections for teens and children. Parents would be given more control over the personal information that online companies collect from their kids. It would also provide better web tools for deleting photos and other information that teens and children post online. This is a common-sense measure for helping families navigate the Internet.” Delara Derakhshani, Policy Counsel

Conversation Media

Electronic Privacy Information Center

Identity Theft 911

Islamic Society of North America

Massachusetts Medical Society

National Collaboration for Youth

Parent Teacher Association

Safe Communications, Inc.

We are delighted that this important legislation, designed to protect our most precious asset and future - our kids, has been reintroduced by Congressman Barton and Senator Markey. Hopefully this bipartisan effort will succeed during this session of Congress .”

United Church of Christ

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops


Virtual World Computing

Voices of America’s Children 

Back to advocacy

Tell Your Friends

Do you know how to protect your kids’ privacy online?

Whether downloading music or filling out a profile to play the newest online game, kids are potentially risking their reputation, security, and identity.

Protecting kids’ reputation

Protecting Personal Privacy Online

Parents' Guide to Protecting Kids' Privacy Online

Digital Life: Our Kids' Connected Culture

How kids are tracked and targeted

Sneaky Ways Advertisers Target Kids

Apps 101: What to Know Before You Download

Online Privacy: What It Is and How to Get It

When clicks leave an online trail

You’re Not as Private as You Think

GPS: Should Kids Post Where They Are?

Staying Safe and Secure Online

School your kids’
teachers on privacy

Get your school involved. Tell your kids’ school about the privacy lesson plans in our FREE digital literacy and citizenship curriculum.