Congress heading in wrong direction on protecting data security of American families, including kids

Common Sense Kids Action urges Congress to oppose a bill that doesn't provide kids with the proper protections. By Ariel Fox Johnson
Congress heading in wrong direction on protecting data security of American families, including kids

Another day, another data breach. Just before Thanksgiving, millions of children's photos, audio recordings, and private conversations with parents were exposed when popular toy manufacturer VTech suffered a data breach. Up to 11 million parents and children were affected.

Such occurrences are likely to occur more often as more and more connected toys -- many with questionable security mechanisms -- make their way into families' homes.

Data breaches affect Americans in all facets of their lives, from financial accounts to health information, emails to school records, and now even children’s playthings.

Yet, despite lots of talk on Capitol Hill, Congress still hasn't enacted meaningful data security and breach legislation. And now, the House of Representatives is considering just the opposite: HR 2205 would actually weaken many protections for Americans. It would supersede stronger state laws and prohibit innovation at the state level. It would eliminate key protections under existing federal law. And it only offers safeguards for certain types of data, offering no protections, for example, for children’s photographs or private family conversations and videos.

Congress appears to be heading in the wrong direction. That’s why Common Sense Kids Action has joined other leading privacy and consumer advocates in asking Congress to oppose this bill.

As more and more aspects of our daily lives become vulnerable to hacking, we need strong data breach laws that provide broad protections for our private and sensitive information. Because HR 2205 does not provide such protections -- and would prohibit states from providing them -- we oppose it.

About Ariel Fox Johnson

Image of blog author
As Common Sense's Senior Counsel for Policy and Privacy, Ariel advocates for smart practices, policies, and rules to help all kids thrive in today’s wired world. Her work focuses on child, teen, and student privacy,... Read more

Add comment

Sign in or sign up to share your thoughts

Comments (1)

Adult written by alexg6

Data security is very important. I use secure file share to protect data. As for me it is so dangerous now.


Common Sense Media is working with PubExchange to share content from a select group of publishers. These are not ads. We receive no payment, and our editors have vetted each partner and hand-select articles we think you'll like. By clicking and leaving this site, you may view additional content that has not been approved by our editors.