Duncan Introduces Bill to Protect Children Online

Jul 10, 2013 Issues: Oversight

WASHINGTON – Congressman John J. Duncan, Jr. (R-Tenn.) introduced legislation Wednesday to help shield children and teens from online predators, a move he said would “add a layer of protection between our kids and those wanting to do them harm.”

The Forbidding Advertisement Through Child Exploitation (FACE) Act would ban social media sites from using the faces of underage users for advertisements or commercial purposes.

Duncan introduced the legislation over concerns that online social media sites were using images of underage users in paid advertisements after they “liked” a product, brand, or store on the site.  

“Limiting the amount of outside attention a child’s social media profile receives makes them less vulnerable to predators,” Duncan said.  “Parents should not have to worry if their child’s face is being used on the internet to sell products.”

According to the Crimes Against Children Research Center, one in every 25 children each year receive an online sexual solicitation where the solicitor tried to make offline contact.   

“Children spend way too much time attached to their computers and over-share online,” Duncan continued.  “They need to be protected online, not put in harm’s way as a way for a website to make money.”

Some states already have laws in place that outlaw social media sites from using underage user images in advertisements.

The FACE Act would not preempt any provision of state law that is more protective of underage images.