Stop corporations from mapping kids’ bodies for profit
There are vast databases of American children’s unique, personal physical and behavioral features—their biometrics. And they are owned by private corporations.
Big tech companies are collecting, storing, and analyzing kids’ biometric data— maps of their bodies that include things like face scans, fingerprints, eye scans, and patterns of how they speak, move, and type—at massive scale. This invasive data collection sets children up for a lifetime of surveillance, identity theft, and potential discrimination. As UNICEF recently explained, biometric information has never before been collected from birth. Families have no way of knowing how the data collected today will be used in the future—and often, there is no transparency into how this sensitive data on children’s bodies is being used now.
The practice of collecting children’s biometric data is out of control. Both Google and TikTok were recently sued for collecting face scans and other biometric data of millions of children without parental consent. Online proctoring companies, which are projected to be a billion dollar industry in a few years, collect biometric data with few limitations and sometimes lax data security. Last year, even the US government proposed a change to allow them to collect biometric information on children under 14.
Children have no choice when it comes to these privacy violations, and corporations know it. They are maliciously extracting data from minors, analyzing that data in flawed experiments that can affect kids’ futures, storing everything in poorly-secured databases forever, and using whatever they find to sell advertising and get kids hooked on manipulative technology. There can be no question that this invasive and immoral practice will have lifetime harms for kids.
Congress must protect children by shutting down the biometric free-for-all that makes tech executives rich at our childrens’ expense.
From: [Your Name]
Children in the US are in danger from big tech companies’ widespread practice of collecting and storing their biometric data -- mapping their bodies for profit. Biometric data can include everything from face scans to fingerprints to eye scans—even patterns of how kids speak, move, and type. This practice puts our kids at risk for a lifetime of surveillance, identity theft, and potential discrimination.
Some recent examples of big tech’s unethical practices around kids’ biometric data:
- Both Google and TikTok were recently sued for collecting face scans and other biometric data of millions of children without parental consent.
- A New York K-12 school district spent $3 million on a facial recognition security system that misidentified Black students at much higher rates, was promptly sued, and then the state of New York passed a moratorium on the technology out of concern for student privacy and equity.
- Proctortrak—part of the online proctoring industry which collects students’ biometric data like fingerprints, faceprints, voiceprints, iris or retina scans—was hacked and student information was exposed.
- Customs and Border Protection has proposed a rule change to collect extensive biometric data from immigrant children at our borders that human rights experts call “entirely unnecessary.”
Tech companies make billions off of hurting kids in this way, often promising safety miracles to educators, legislators, or parents—but delivering invasive, experimental technology with extremely concerning biases and implications. They won’t stop unless Congress acts to keep kids safe. Please, stand up for our children and keep them safe by shutting down the biometric free-for-all that makes tech executives rich and puts children at risk.