Time to Legislate COPPA 2.0

By: Jeff Chester | Jul 17 2019
FTC's Proposed COPPA Review comes too late; Agency cannot be relied on to protect youth, families

Today, the FTC announced plans to review the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) rules.  CDD and allies successfully campaigned to have the law's rules expanded in 2012, to ensure that the privacy of children 12 and under was better protected in today's "Big Data" driven cross-device environment.

But it's too late for the FTC to make modest changes to how it implements the 1998 law.  The commission has failed to effectively enforce the law for years--both Republicans and Democrats are at fault here.  For example, the commission has long known that Google was deliberately ignoring COPPA, in order to build its YouTube service as the leading child-directed site.  But it did nothing.

Under a bill proposed by Sens. Edward J. Markey and Josh Hawley, the FTC would be required to proactively ensure that children's data is better protected, and that there are serious safeguards when marketing to them.   It's time for the FTC to come out in support of that bill.

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