Western countries are petitioning tech companies to stop advertising targeted at children. In an open letter signed by children’s rights advocates, MPs and academics, they said that behavioural advertising undermines privacy and puts the youngsters under unfair marketing pressure.
The letter was addressed to Google, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Facebook.
“The fact that ad-tech companies hold 72 million data points on a child by the time they turn 13 shows the extent of disregard for these laws, and the extraordinary surveillance to which children are subjected,” the letter reads.
“There is no justification for targeting teenagers with personalised ads any more than there is for targeting 12-year-olds.”You, the most powerful companies on the internet, have a responsibility to protect your users.” the letter further says.
Last week, a parent filed a class action law suit against YouTube accusing it of gathering information from five million under-13s in the UK.
Privacy advocate Duncan McCann sued Google on behalf of five million British children accusing the tech giant of breaching both the UK and European Data-protection laws by tracking the children online.
YouTube will contest the case at the High Court, arguing that its platform is not for children under the age of 13 years.
McCann, a parent of three children, is seeking compensation of between $100 and $500 for each child who has had their data breached.
The latest campaign against advertising to children was initially launched by the Global Action Plan who argue that online advertising accelerates consumerism which results in unnecessary pressure on the planet.