Bloomberg on digital marketing to kids

I found the article a bit shallow (I think their intent, however), but the issue they are poking is incredibly important. Within the US given today’s wild west days of regulatory oversight, this could balloon painfully and quickly.

Problem 1 – it’s up to the parents? Quote: “The tools exist to protect smartphone-toting children from targeted ads. Parents better start enforcing their use.”

Size of the opportunity? Quote: “By the time U.K. youngsters are 11, the ownership ratio reaches a whopping 90%, according to a report published on Tuesday by the research consultancy Childwise. And as the penetration of smartphone usage rises, it creates more opportunity for advertisers to get in front of young eyeballs. Parents need to get clued up if they want to stop that from happening.”

And yes, governments have noticed. Quote: “But regulators have also been remarkably proactive in ensuring the necessary protections are in place for youngsters. The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation makes it illegal to process the personal data of children under the age of 13, as does the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act in the U.S. Similar rules are in the works in China and India.”

Yet, the authors close with, quote: “However, that only holds up if parents are ensuring their offspring access the web through the appropriate portals”

I am not optimistic, given what I observe of either disengaged or overworked parents … a huge social experiment I wonder with only the health, well being and consumption patterns of our children at stake. Why cannot tools be all ‘on’ by default and parents would have to turn them off?

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