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Dems urge FTC to enforce children and teen privacy compliance

Federal Issues FTC U.S. Senate U.S. House Privacy/Cyber Risk & Data Security

Federal Issues

On October 8, Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) and Representatives Kathy Castor (D-FL) and Lori Trahan (D-MA) sent a letter to FTC Chair Lina Khan urging the Commission to ensure that technology companies comply with their own policies regarding the protection of children’s and teen’s privacy. Among other things, the three Democratic lawmakers advocate that Khan “use [her] authority under Section 5 of the FTC Act to ensure that technology companies comply with these commitments to users and hold them accountable if they fail to do so." Under Section 5 , companies are prohibited from engaging in unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting interstate commerce. The lawmakers assert that the FTC has a statutory obligation to ensure that technology platforms fulfill their public statements and policies regarding children’s and teen’s privacy. The letter emphasizes that the need to protect children and teens from online privacy threats is very urgent, stating that “[s]ince 2015, American children have spent almost five hours each day watching their screens, and children’s and teens’ daily screen time has increased by 50 percent or more during the coronavirus pandemic.”

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