The advent of technology has opened easy access to a large reservoir of data and information called the Internet. This technological innovation has changed the way we search and access data. Earlier, the easiest and most commonly used data reserve was print material. The collection and organization of data was difficult in this form. Besides, searching and accessing information was also a humongous task. However, internet changed all that and presented us the opportunity to search everything online and get access to information in seconds.
While this technology introduced a tool that was set to bring about a revolution in every walk of our lives, this easy access to information also had some inherent loopholes. The fact that anyone and everyone can now access anything and everything spelled trouble, especially for parents. This free and easy access to unlimited and all kinds of information raised concerns over how parents can now keep a check on the kid’s activities.
Parents cannot look at the option of limiting their kid’s access to the internet completely as this can affect the academic performance of the kid. Most of the educational material is shared online in schools and universities. Therefore, this is just not an option. Therefore, parents turn to online tracking to see what their kids are doing online and keeping a check of the information they are accessing. As a result, the government was compelled to formulate a bill for online tracking according to which websites were forced to incorporate online tracking for kids that allowed access to kids only after the parents give their consent for the same.
However, excessive online tracking also has its downsides and Markey and Barton proposed recently that the bill must be reintroduced. The changes proposed focused on reducing the online tracking of users who are younger in age. In fact, they had also introduced an act called Do Not Track Kids act in the congress last time around. The act enabled the use of a feature called eraser, which could be used, by young users, to delete any content that post online. Besides, the act also stated that advertising that targets the age group of kids younger than 16 years was not allowed.
Another change in the plan was initiated by the Federal Trade Commission earlier this year, when they revised the Childrens’ Online Privacy Protection Act. The age below which online tracking shall be applicable was reduced to 13 years. All the changes proposed by Markey and Barton are focused towards ensuring that the personal information of kids is protected, and parents are equipped enough to keep a check on their kid’s online activities.
The increasing use of mobile devices by kids has increased their vulnerability and enhanced their need for a data privacy law that can protect them. Besides, it also makes it all the necessary for parents to have the tools for keeping a check at their children. Online tracking for kids is certainly important. However, it should be done just in adequate measures. The changes in the laws and acts will help parents and children benefit, and they will be able to make use of the internet in the most optimum manner.