Breaking News
More () »

Cracking down on websites, apps tracking kids online

Attorneys general asking FTC to put more protections in place to prevent companies from collecting and storing data on children.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein is warning parents that websites may be collecting data on your children.

Everything from their location, to their face and fingerprints, even the sound of their voice. 

Stein now taking those concerns to the FTC in a formal letter, joining forces with 23 other states to demand better online protections for children.

Our tech knows us.

What we like, where we go, who we talk to.

Even our unique retinas, fingerprints, and voice.

“It’s very common for companies to share that information with other companies, they’ll sell it," said cybersecurity expert Tom Blanchard.

Blanchard, CEO of Sterling Technology Solutions, says US laws are behind when it comes to protecting your data.

“This is oftentimes private information that us as users don’t want shared much less sold," Blanchard said.

And some argue it’s even worse when we’re talking about kids.

“That these companies are potentially tracking children’s information raises ethical questions," Blanchard said.

That’s why North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein joined attorneys general from 23 other states in submitting this letter to the federal trade commission – asking the FTC to put more protections in place to prevent companies from collecting and storing data on children.

Things like their search histories, locations, health information, fingerprints and voices.

“With children specifically me as a parent I don’t want Google or Facebook knowing where my child is, what they’re looking at on the Internet. that’s private information and it doesn’t belong to them it belongs to me," Blanchard said.

Blanchard says the concern isn’t just that companies are buying information about you for things like targeted advertisements.

He says the bigger worry is what could happen if that info gets into the wrong hands.

“Just because it’s being sold doesn’t mean it’s being sold to someone with benevolent intentions," he said. "It could be sold to perhaps someone with good intentions but they didn’t have the right security, then all of a sudden their system is breached and all this information about shopping habits, IP address, information location of children gets put into the wrong hands. And we’ve seen that happen a few times.”

Blanchard says until laws governing data tracking change, the best thing parents can do is teach their kids safe internet habits – and urge them not to share or search for anything too personal.

Because you never know who could have access to all those details that make us, us.

To learn more about Blanchard's company Sterling Technology Solutions and the IT support services they offer, visit their website here. 

RELATED: Pedophiles want photos shared on social media. Here's what to know before you post a picture of kids

RELATED: YouTube making changes to help protect kids

RELATED: White supremacists are aggressively recruiting NC kids as young as 11 online

RELATED: 'The air they breathe': Time kids spend watching online video doubles

Before You Leave, Check This Out