U.S. Senators have wrote to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) asking them to enforce new child child protection measures.

Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Representatives Kathy Castor (FL-14) and Lori Trahan (MA-03) have requested the FTC to use its power to ensure that large online platform operators handle children’s privacy more responsibly. 

In a letter, the Senators urge the FTC to enforce policies outlined in the UK’s Age Appropriate Design Code (AADC) - which establishes 15 principles that online services firms need to follow in order to better protect children’s privacy online. 

According to the AADC, providers of online services should work in the best interests of children, and offer privacy policy information in language suited for the child’s age. Additionally, the AADC forbids service providers from using data in ways that are detrimental to children’s well-being, and bans the use of ‘nudge’ techniques that encourage them to give up their privacy.

In the letter, the Senators highlighted steps within the AADC which resulted in technology companies responding and amending their conditions, e.g. TikTok disabling messaging for users under 16 and Instagram introducing default private accounts for young people.

“We write to urge the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to use all its authority to ensure that these powerful companies comply with their new policies, to hold them accountable if they fail to do so, and to prioritize the protection of children’s and teen’s privacy,” the letter said. The senators suggested using Section Five of the FTC Act, which forbids deceptive practices, to enforce the commitments.