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Letter: California bill to protect children’s datasets, example for others

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California’s bill to protect children’s data is a welcome initiative (“California plan for child data bill raises pressure on Big Tech”, Report, February 17).

The pandemic has made it clear that internet access is a vital part of everyone’s life – from working remotely and applying for a job, to meeting virtually with those we couldn’t safely visit. For children in particular, digital connectivity is crucial, enabling them to engage with teachers at school, study new content online and share stories with friends.

Now, the other states and nations of the United States must do more. Our research found that 45% of parents track their children’s GPS location with their acquaintances and more than a third secretly track their social media posts. This points to a worrying lack of trust in Big Tech platforms; we still have a long way to go before we can inspire confidence that children are safe online.

Among adults, online privacy is often exercised individually: people seek out individual tools, browser extensions, and learn entirely new technologies. For children, however, this bar is set too high. Pushed into this online world, their privacy should be paramount. All efforts to curb the collection of invasive data on younger internet users should be applauded and emulated.

Marcin Kleczynski
CEO and Co-Founder
Malwarebytes, Santa Clara, CA, USA

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