New Do-Not-Track Bills Target Online Behavioral Marketing and Mobile Apps

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Two new “do-not-track” privacy bills would impose new restraints on online tracking, behavioral marketing, and the use of mobile application and geolocation data. Rep. Markey introduced his discussion draft with his co-chairman of the House privacy caucus, Rep. Barton. Their “Do Not Track Kids Online” bill would build on the current Child Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), which requires parental consent for collecting and using personal information online from children under 13.

Using the political hook of protecting children, the bill proposes to convert COPPA into a framework extending to online and mobile apps, and to tracking and marketing to all those under 18—in the process imposing age verification requirements and other processes that may redefine the apps and mobile experience for all users. Sen. Rockefeller’s version, the “Do Not Track Online Act of 2011,” would simply grant the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) the power to define and adopt the comprehensive do-not-track regime the FTC recommended in December 2010 (which we discussed in detail earlier).

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