COPPA Revisited: The Do Not Track Kids Act of 2018 Provides a Glimpse into What Lawmakers Could Do to Ground Services with Large Teen Customer Bases

In enacting the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, Congress determined that the safeguards built into the statute should apply only to children under 13. It sought to focus the restrictions on collection and use of personal information on younger children who are particularly vulnerable to marketing tactics because of their unfamiliarity with advertising and the privacy risks associated with interactive Web services.  In 2013, when the FTC expanded the COPPA Rule, it considered proposing protections to older children.  As it states in its FAQs for COPPA, the Commission staff has been interested in promoting “strong, more flexible, protections” for teens.  But, as of now, in the U.S., COPPA protections are limited to children under 13 years of age. For years, Senator Ed Markey (D-Mass), and a small bi-partisan group of lawmakers, have been trying to move legislation forward that would expand COPPA and introduce a “bill of…

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