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Photo Illustration by Filip Radwanski/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Instagram on Tuesday said it's adding a slew of new privacy features aimed at kids under 16.

Why it matters: Lawmakers have proposed changes to children's online privacy laws in the past year, including potentially adding privacy protections for children under 16 and banning targeted ads to kids.

Details: The tech giant said that it will make the accounts of users under 16 private by default.

  • It will introduce a new technology to allow the tech giant to find accounts that have shown potentially suspicious behavior and stop them from interacting with young people’s accounts.
  • It will also limit the way advertisers can target young users. Starting in a few weeks, Instagram says it will only allow advertisers to target ads to users under 18 (or older in certain countries) based on their age, gender and location.

The big picture: Tech giants have come under fire in recent years for not doing enough to stop children's data from being exploited and to protect them from bad actors.

  • Instagram's parent Facebook, in particular, took a lot of heat after leaked reports showed that the company was testing an app for users under 13.
  • Facebook on Tuesday confirmed that it is building new experiences designed specifically for users under 13.

Go deeper

Privacy advocate will be new Big Tech threat at FTC

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Ty B Photos

The Biden administration sent another warning to Big Tech on Monday in nominating longtime privacy advocate Alvaro Bedoya to the Federal Trade Commission.

Why it matters: Bedoya's expertise on data collection and surveillance, combined with Biden's pick to lead the FTC, tech antitrust legal scholar Lina Khan, signals aggressive action from both the consumer protection and antitrust arms of the agency.

Scoop: Biden to tap privacy hawk for FTC post

Photo: Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

President Biden will nominate Georgetown University law professor Alvaro Bedoya to be a Democratic commissioner at the Federal Trade Commission, people familiar with the matter told Axios.

Why it matters: Bedoya, founding director of the Center on Privacy & Technology at Georgetown, will bring a bevy of experience on privacy issues to the FTC's work on tech.

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
Sep 13, 2021 - Health

Parents search for COVID vaccine trials for their children

A health care worker testing a child for coronavirus in Austin, Texas, in August 2021. Photo: Matthew Busch/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Some parents around the U.S. are on the hunt for COVID-19 vaccine trials instead of waiting for FDA approval to get their young children inoculated, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: As kids return for in-person schooling before those under 12 became eligible for shots, it's created anxiety for parents who worry about the small — but very real — possibility that their kid could become severely ill, experience long-term consequences from or die from COVID.