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| 1 minute read
Reposted from Taylor English Insights

Lawmakers Push to Increase Federal Privacy Protection for Kids

Lawmakers at the state level have advanced or passed multiple actions in the last couple of years relating to kids' privacy online, as the impact of social media and other online services on children continues to raise concerns. Regulators at the FTC also have taken action on kids' privacy, producing millions of dollars in fines for Big Tech.  

Not to be left behind, the US Senate is now considering (again) ramping up the rules for collecting and using personal information from minors online.  

Why It Matters

Children's privacy online has always been a hot topic; our only national privacy law for online services relates to children. That law restricts what companies can do online without parental consent to collect information from children under thirteen. In the past couple of years, though, we have seen a wide range of proposals that would expand the coverage of privacy laws to older children, or would restrict certain advertising practices or use of certain services by minors. Because online services are accessible to anyone with a connected device, it is likely that expansions to children's privacy laws may affect companies that don't consider themselves child-facing. Any company that knows it has online teenage users would do well to assess its privacy practices and make sure it understands whether any new state laws apply, or whether the federal law would cover them if passed.  

Like the measure that passed the Senate Commerce Committee last year, the latest legislative proposal would build on COPPA, which established notice and parental consent requirements for online sites and services directed at children under 13, by prohibiting companies from collecting personal information from users who are 13- to 16-years old without their consent. The bill would also prohibit targeted marketing to those who are 16 or younger; create an "eraser button" by requiring companies to allow kids and their parents to eliminate personal information when "technologically feasible;" establish a "digital marketing bill of rights" that limits the collection of teens' personal information; and establish a Youth Marketing and Privacy Division at the Federal Trade Commission.


data security and privacy, hill_mitzi, insights, youth services law