Rockefeller Questions Tech Companies on Compliance with Children's Online Privacy Law

May 18, 2011

Feature Image: Capitol 1WASHINGTON, D.C.—Chairman John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV today announced that he is asking Apple, Google and Association for Competitive Technology (ACT) executives to show whether the applications running on their mobile platforms are in compliance with children’s online privacy law.

“New mobile technologies have put the world at consumers’ fingertips; however, many of those fingertips are still small and especially at risk of being exploited by companies that gather sensitive information from mobile devices,” Chairman Rockefeller said. “I am concerned that some applications running on today’s mobile platforms may be violating laws that are intended to protect children. My hope is that Apple, Google and the ACT can shed light on mobile app practices so that we can make sure children are protected.”

The law—known as the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act or “COPPA”—prohibits certain online companies from collecting personal information from children 12 years old or younger without express consent from their parents, disclosure of use, and requires companies to provide parents access to the information they collect.

Rockefeller made his request in letters sent ahead of a Commerce Committee hearing tomorrow on consumer privacy and protection in the mobile marketplace. The text of the letters sent to Apple, Google and ACT can be found below.

Chairman Rockefeller has led the fight for consumer online privacy. He recently introduced legislation, the Do Not Track Online Act of 2011, to help consumers prevent their personal information from being collected by online companies. Under Rockefeller’s chairmanship, the Commerce Committee has held five hearings on consumer privacy in the past thirteen months. A sixth hearing on consumer privacy and protection in the mobile marketplace is scheduled for tomorrow, May 19 at 10:00 a.m. More information on tomorrow’s hearing can be found here.