CDD protects the interests of young people, through its work to ensure compliance with the law it helped pass--the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). Beyond children’s privacy, CDD is committed to ensuring children and teens are treated fairly in the commercial online marketplace, where they are subjected to a torrent of powerful ads for junk food and other products.

  • Advocates Say Google’s YouTube Violates Federal Children’s Privacy Law

    By: Jeff Chester | Apr 9 2018

    WASHINGTON, DC—April 9, 2018—Today, a coalition of leading U.S. child advocacy, consumer, and privacy groups represented by the Institute for Public Representation filed a complaint(link is external) urging the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate and sanction Google for violations of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) in operating YouTube. Google claims that YouTube is only for users 13 and up, despite being the most popular online platform for children, used by 80% of American children ages 6 to 12. 

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  • Canadians Advance Bill to Limit the Marketing of Unhealthy Foods to Children, Including Online

    By: Katharina Kopp | Feb 20 2018

    Around the world citizens and governments are putting efforts toward limiting the marketing of unhealthy foods to children in order to address the  growing obesity epidemic worldwide.

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  • Statement of Jeff Chester on plans by FCC to review 3-hour Children’s Educational TV Programming Rule

    By: Jeff Chester | Feb 13 2018

    Broadcasters want to kill one of their only few public interest obligations:  to air at least 3 hours of educational children’s programming a week.  The FCC is engaged in another outrageous form of digital highway robbery—to steal from kids in order to allow TV giants to make even more profits from shows filled with commercials.   Broadcasters now earn billions of dollars from their free public license to transit television—including getting access to invaluable cable TV channels.  They are supposed to serve as  a “Trustee” of the airwaves—not video programming bandits.
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  • Death of Net Neutrality Will Spur Greater Loss of Digital Privacy, Further Content Consolidation & Control

    By: Jeff Chester | Dec 15 2017

    The phone and cable lobby will use its new power over the Internet to further erode the privacy rights of Americans.  Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon will be entirely free to tap into the data flowing from our mobile devices, PCs, gaming and streaming platforms and set-top boxes.  These ISP giants have already built up a formidable commercial data gathering and Big Data analytics infrastructure.  Now they will expand their gathering of our personal information, inc.

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  • Facebook Messenger Kids App Statement

    By: Jeff Chester | Dec 4 2017

    Statement of Kathryn C Montgomery, Ph.D.
    Professor, School of Communication, American University
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  • “Smartwatches” For Parents to Monitor Young Children Actually Pose a Danger to Kids’ Welfare—Report

    By: Jeff Chester | Oct 18 2017

    WASHINGTON, DC – October 18, 2017—A number of brands of “smartwatches” intended to help parents monitor and protect young children have major security and privacy flaws which could endanger the children wearing them. A coalition of leading U.S. child advocacy, consumer, and privacy groups sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) today, asking the agency to investigate the threat these watches pose to children.

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  • Google + Ad Industry Study Shows Influencers on YouTube Sell Snacks, Toys, Alcohol

    By: Jeff Chester | Oct 13 2017

    Sanjay Nazerali, Chief Strategist of Carat, a global media market leader in digital media, writes about how YouTube influencers are rewriting the marketing rulebook.

    Working in strategy at one of the world’s largest media agencies, I’ve witnessed countless pitches about influencer marketing and the growing power of creators.

    With engaged audiences in the millions and passionate fans hungry for content, YouTube creators are already an established channel for brands looking to run ads.

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  • New Report: Health Wearable Devices Pose New Consumer and Privacy Risks

    By: Jeff Chester | Aug 29 2017

    Personal health wearable devices that consumers are using to monitor their heart rates, sleep patterns, calories, and even stress levels raise new privacy and security risks, according to a report released today by researchers at American University and the Center for Digital Democracy.

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  • Advocates Call on FCC to Protect Programming and Advertising Safeguards for Children's TV

    By: Jeff Chester | Aug 4 2017

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – Advocates called today on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to reject an effort by major media companies to eliminate or weaken important rules for children’s television. The National Association of Broadcasters, Internet and Television Association (NCTA), CBS, Disney, Fox, Univision, and others have asked the FCC to significantly reduce advertising limits on children’s programming.

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  • Google Expanded Influencer Marketing: Industry Stealth Apparatus Requires Scrutiny

    By: Jeff Chester | Jul 11 2017

    FameBit is an online marketplace that connects YouTubers with brands that are interested in advertising their products and services.
    This provides creators an opportunity to earn money with their content by partnering with brands that are relevant to their audience. 
    Learn about Famebit, the Self-Service Influencer Marketing Platform.

    famebit 1
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  • CDD and CCFC Ask FTC to Suspend TRUSTe COPPA role and open up investigation

    By: Jeff Chester | May 25 2017

    The Center for Digital Democracy (CDD) and Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC), by their attorneys, the Institute for Public Representation, respond to the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC or the Commission) request for comment on proposed changes to TRUSTe’s COPPA Safe Harbor program. TRUSTe has sought approval of changes to its COPPA Safe Harbor program that it states are necessary to comply with an Assurance of Discontinuance it recently entered into with the New York Attorney General’s Office (NYAG).

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  • Groups Call on Facebook to Disclose and Explain Its Collection of Psychological Insights About Its Youngest Users

    By: Jeff Chester | May 11 2017

    Facebook should immediately release all documents describing how it collected and analyzed psychological information it recently collected about its youngest users, some as young as 14, and college students, Public Citizen and a coalition of 25 groups said in a

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  • People Have No Control

    By: Jeff Chester | Mar 30 2017

    CDD Executive Director, Jeff Chester speaks on Congress’ dismantling of the FCC Privacy Rule with CNN’s Jake Tapper on March 29th, 2017.

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  • Consumer, Privacy and Children’s Advocates Oppose Attempts by Industry to Eliminate Privacy Protections of all ISP Customers, Including Children

    By: Katharina Kopp | Mar 7 2017

    Washington, DC (March 6, 2017): The Center for Digital Democracy (CDD), Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, Common Sense Kids Action, Consumer Action and the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) called on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to reject industry requests to rescind the FCC’s broadband privacy rules, as this would leave parents effectively without any tools to protect their children’s privacy on broadband Internet Service Provider networks (ISPs).

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  • The New Age of Food Marketing

    By: Yewande Ogunkoya | Jan 18 2017

    This report provides a snapshot of five categories of marketing tactics used by fast food, snack food, and soft drink companies to target children and adolescents. These categories include: 1) creating immersive environments; 2) infiltrating social networks; 3) location-based and mobile marketing; 4) collecting personal data; and 5) studying and triggering the subconscious. Descriptions of these categories along with examples from the food and beverage industry are provided.

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  • Digital Food Marketing to Children and Adolescents: Problematic Practices and Policy Interventions

    By: Yewande Ogunkoya | Jan 18 2017

    This report examines trends in digital marketing to youth that uses "immersive" techniques, social media, behavioral profiling, location targeting and mobile marketing, and neuroscience methods. Recommends principles for regulating inappropriate advertising to youth.

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  • Peeking Behind the Curtain: Food and Marketing Industry Research Supporting Digital Media Marketing to Children and Adolescents

    By: Jeff Chester | Jan 17 2017

    This report describes and provides examples of the types of digital marketing research utilized by the food and beverage industry and the potential effects it has on the health of children and adolescents. Researchers found that food and beverage industry, together with the companies they contract, are conducting three major types of research: 1) testing and deploying new marketing platforms, 2) creating new research methods to probe consumers’ responses to marketing, and 3) developing new means to assess the impact of new digital research on marketers’ profits.

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  • Americans Win Significant Broadband Privacy Rights in Historic FCC Decision

    By: Jeff Chester | Oct 27 2016

    Statement of Jeff Chester, executive director, Center for Digital Democracy

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  • Federal Trade Commission Must Stop “Influencer” Marketing Targeting Kids on YouTube and Other Digital Sites

    By: Yewande Ogunkoya | Oct 21 2016

    The Center for Digital Democracy (CDD), Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC) and Public Citizen  filed a complaint at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) today asking for an investigation and enforcement action against Google (a subsidiary of Alphabet, Inc.), Disney’s Maker Studios, DreamWorks-owned AwesomenessTV, and two other companies for the unfair and deceptive practice of targeting “influencer” marketing toward children.

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  • Need to Know 1076

    By: Jeff Chester | Oct 11 2016

    Announcing REX: the world’s first kid-safe programmatic exchange

    Today marks a major milestone in the kids digital media industry. We’re extremely pleased to announce the launch of REX, the world’s first kid-safe, COPPA-compliant programmatic exchange.

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