Skip to main content

Sen. Markey Signals Bill Targeting Kid-Coersive Web Design

Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) says he will be introducing legislation that targets what he says are coercive Web site designs meant to attract children.

That came following a Washington Post report that the Federal Trade Commission is investigating YouTube for potentially violating children's online privacy.

Ed Markey

Ed Markey

Markey said he was pleased if that were the case, but "much more" needed to be done, like his bill.

"I will introduce legislation that will combat online design features that coerce children and create bad habits, commercialization and marketing that manipulate kids and push them into consumer culture, and the amplification of inappropriate and harmful content on the internet," he said. "It’s time for the adults in the room to step in and ensure that corporate profits no longer come before kids’ privacy.”

The senator was a driving force behind the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act, which established baseline protections, and wants those extended to young teens--13-15.

A host of online privacy groups last year filed a complaint with the FTC against YouTube and parent, Google, seeking potentially tens of billions of dollars in fines for what they said has been the company’s collection and sharing of children’s information in violation of federal law.

Markey was supportive of that effort: "As the House author of COPPA, I believe these are credible allegations and urge the Commission to investigate them as soon as possible," Markey had said at the time.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.