WASHINGTON DC – U.S. Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, released the following statement after Facebook provided responses to questions posed by Senator Markey in the wake of the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica privacy breach.
In his questions, Senator Markey asked Facebook to commit to not include advertising in children’s offerings and to commit to not share children’s information for targeted advertisements, once young users turn 13.
“Our youngest and most vulnerable Americans should be able to navigate the digital world without being bombarded by advertisements at every turn,” said Senator Markey, House author of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).
“I am disappointed that Facebook once again refuses to promise that it will never include advertising in Messenger Kids, an offering specifically targeted to children ages 12 and under. It is equally concerning that while Facebook has stated it will not ‘automatically’ share kids’ data with advertisers when users turn 13, the company stops short of declaring that it won’t share this data at all, automatically or otherwise. Companies like Facebook should not be able to cash in on children or teen’s personal information,” said Massachusetts’ junior Senator.
Last month, Senators Markey and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Representatives Joe Barton (TX-06) and Bobby L. Rush (IL-01) reintroduced the Do Not Track Kids Act, comprehensive children’s online privacy legislation.
The legislation updates COPPA by expanding and enhancing rules for the collection, use and disclosure of the personal information of children 15 years and younger.
Last week, Senators Markey and Blumenthal queried Facebook about the most recent development that the company shared user information with at least 60 device companies, such as Amazon, Microsoft, Apple and others, without user consent. Senators Markey and Blumenthal previously queried Facebook about its role in and response to the troubling collection of personal data from tens of millions of Americans by the firm Cambridge Analytica.