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Standing Up for Families' Online Privacy in California
On Monday, I represented Common Sense Kids Action at a press conference hosted by California Assemblymember Ed Chau at the state capitol to announce a new bill to protect kids' and their families' privacy online: the California Broadband Internet Privacy Act (Assembly Bill 375).
AB 375 responds to the April 2017 repeal of Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules that would have given customers more control over how internet service providers use their personal information.
Common Sense Kids Action advocates for stronger online privacy protections at home and in school for all players in the internet ecosystem, from broadband providers to edtech developers to Internet of Things producers.
Just this year in California, we sponsored the Teddy Bear and Toaster Act to create commonsense privacy and security rules for connected devices that would help all families protect themselves. We've also sponsored legislation to protect Californian's geolocation privacy on mobile apps, as well as landmark student-privacy legislation that protects our kids when they use edtech products.
In this spirit, we believe the California Broadband Internet Privacy Act is a critical step in the right direction. That's why we've given AB 375 a "For Kids" rating in our Common Sense Legislative Ratings.
This bill is based on the basic notion that kids, parents, and consumers should have control over their personal information and should be able to decide who has access to it and who does not.
Our kids are growing up in a world where the internet is a necessity, not a luxury. You have to be online to succeed in school and in life, and children and families must have strong privacy protections as they navigate an increasingly online world. Kids in particular are uniquely susceptible to privacy risks and marketing strategies, as they naturally share a lot of personal information without understanding the consequences.
All companies, including broadband providers, need to step up on privacy. Parents deserve to be able to make informed choices about the use and sharing of their and their kids' online information, such as that from web browsing, app activity, and message content.
Unless parents have opted in, kids and teens should not be tracked and targeted, and they should have control over their personal information.
Common Sense Kids Action applauds Assemblymember Chau for proposing strong new protections for the privacy of California children and families in their online lives. Californians are rightfully proud of both our state's thriving tech industry and its history of leadership on protecting families' privacy rights online. By passing this legislation, we can continue to lead the nation in passing strong new measures that will keep kids and their personal information safe.