Consumer Groups Call For Investigation into ‘Predatory’ Collection of Children’s Data

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A collection of consumer groups on Thursday asked the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to look into how digital media firms target children. In a further statement, Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood executive director Josh Golin described the collection of children’s data as “predatory.”

Kids lining up against the wall with smartphones

Protecting Children From Big Tech

The letter, obtained by CNBC, was signed by a wide range of consumer advocacy organizations. It said:

The FTC cannot base substantive policy decisions on the current dearth of details about how the information ecosystem functions. Rather, the FTC must conduct and complete a series of long-overdue studies to shed light on these opaque industries before it adopts any privacy-related rulemaking or major policy change.

Mr. Golin explained that any review would probably include the likes of Twitch, Tik Tok, Disney, and Google. Furthermore, he said:

We need the full power of the law to protect them from predatory data collection, but we can’t protect children from Big Tech business models if we don’t know how those models truly work.

The FTC is currently reviewing the Children’s Online Privacy Act. YouTube recently reached a settlement with the FTC and agreed to disable some features on content aimed at children. Facebook-owned Instagram also announced that users must verify they are over 13 years old.

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