A look at the digital kids industry with a focus on online privacy, data security & the latest trends

Highlights from PRIVO's Children's Digital Privacy Summit

On January 24th, as part of Data Privacy Week, PRIVO hosted it's inaugural Children's Digital Privacy Summit in Los Angeles. This event featured top industry experts who explored compliance intricacies, business hurdles, and ethical considerations in this rapidly evolving digital landscape covering pressing topics that impact minors, including AI and age assurance/verification, in addition to exploring how businesses and policymakers can create a world that prioritizes children’s well-being. 

Keep reading below for a recap of the day. To view the recorded sessions, visit the PRIVO Summit event page.


Child Safety in the Age of AI: Navigating the Fine Line Between Innovation and Influence
The morning began with a keynote presentation from James Thomason, Managing Partner at Next Wave Partners and former CTO, Dell Cloud Marketplace, offering groundbreaking insights into AI and child safety. Thomason delved into how technology shapes our individual and collective experiences, molding societal structures, and influences cultural values. Furthermore, he discussed the psychological and safety risks associated with pseudoanthropomorphic AI, underscoring the importance of responsible AI design in interactions with children.

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State of Play: Perspectives on Child Privacy Protections
After our morning keynote, we dove into where we stand with regulations protecting children. Public awareness of online harms and evidence of the exploitation of children’s data has led to an unprecedented number of new and proposed regulations at US federal and state level, in Europe and globally. This session, featuring Anna Morgan, Partner, Head of Privacy & Data Protection, Bird & Bird (Ireland) LLP, (former Deputy Commissioner Irish DPC ), Michael Murray, Head of Regulatory Policy, ICO, Claire Quinn, Chief Privacy Officer,  CIPP/E, PRIVO, Nichole Rocha, Head of US Affairs, 5Rights Foundation, and David Patariu, Associate, Venable, covered what these regulations mean in practice for companies and privacy professionals and what lessons we have learned from past enforcement actions and what should we expect in the coming months. 

Building a Positive Digital World for Kids — Together
In the afternoon, we heard a powerful keynote delivered by Michael Preston, Executive Director of the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Street Workshop, addressing the need to foster responsible innovation in technology in order to build a positive digital world for kids. After Preston’s keynote, he led a session with Dr. Elizabeth Milovidov (Sr. Corporate Counsel, digital games, metaverse and child safety, the LEGO Group), Sarah Jacobstein (Project Manager, Responsible Innovation in Technology for Children (RITEC)) at The Joan Ganz Cooney Center), and Stephanie Reich (Professor of Education, University of California, Irvine) providing details to the Summit attendees on how we can design better digital experiences leveraging the RITEC concept of designing for children’s well-being.

Can We Speak In Private? What Digital Privacy Means to Kids
Michael Desmarais, Vice President at Smarty Pants, youth research and strategic consulting firm, delivered valuable perspective from kids themselves on all things safe, sound and secure when it comes to their screen-based activities as they embrace the nuances of privacy compliance and "getting privacy and safety right for kids." The presentation slides and video can be viewed here

Age Matters: Exploring the Current and Future Landscape of Age Verification, Digital Identity and Informed Consent

This session opened up with a special young guest sharing his personal experience as an adolescent and the long lasting effects of having easy access to adult entertainment online at such a young age. He asked the industry executives in the audience to do a better job at keeping kids out of age restricted online services setting the stage for the panel discussion featuring, Rod Boothby, CEO at IDPartners Systems, Carl Szabo, Vice President & General Counsel at NetChoice and Denise Tayloe, CEO at PRIVO. This panel discussed the controversies with new regulations requiring age verification and verifiable parental consent by states like Utah, Ohio, Texas, California, and Arkansas. In addition, the panel highlighted age assurance and consent solutions that prioritize privacy and seamlessly integrate user protection and compliance.

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Global Child Safety Initiative Launches: VPC Trust Alliance
A landmark initiative for safeguarding children's digital well-being was launched at the Summit.  The VPC Trust Alliance, a global partnership between TrustElevate and PRIVO, joins forces with Microsoft to establish rigorous standards for verifiable parental consent, marking a crucial step towards protecting young digital users worldwide. The initiative focuses on developing cutting-edge, globally applicable practices for verifiable parental consent. This includes exploring new and emerging methods, such as those leveraging artificial intelligence, to ensure robust and seamless parental involvement in protecting children's online activities.

Where Responsible Future Tech Meets Children

In this lightning talk, Iris Ichishita, Entertainment Producer, Children’s Media Executive, and Founder of Toekenz, spoke about about applying future-tech--web3, blockchain, crypto, AI--to children and families with an emphasis on corporate responsibility, compliance, data collection, and parental controls.

COPPA Security Update: Strengthening Data Security Requirements

This lighting round presented by Albert Strong, CEO of Strong CyberSolutions, broke down the new proposed requirement from the FTC on strengthening the COPPA Rule’s data security requirements, mandating that operators establish, implement, and maintain a written children’s personal information security program that contains safeguards that are appropriate to the sensitivity of the personal information collected from children. 

Kirk Uhler & Josh Freeney
The Power and Pitfalls of Protecting Children in AI & Immersive Experiences
While AI and immersive experiences have huge potential for the next generation, they also bring a risk of harms to younger users and challenges for organizations and privacy professionals. This session featuring, Josh Freeney, Senior Vice President of Digital Strategy at the Grand Rapids Public Museum and Founder, CTO, and Technology Lead of Casualware, Abran Maldonado, AI Prompt Engineer / Digital Human Designer, OpenAI Ambassador, Director at 5G Edtech - NYC Media Lab and Kirk Uhler, Co-Founder/Advisor, GuardRailz, looked at the possibilities versus the pitfalls and discussed how to build a privacy-enhanced experience and manage children’s engagement safely. 

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The Ethical and Legal Complexities Around the Use of Children's Data to Train AI Models

This presentation by Robert Stokka, Privacy Program Manager at Venableexplored the multifaceted implications of generative AI in the context of children’s interactions and the use of children’s data to train Generative AI models. Robert addressed the ethical and legal intricacies of using children's data to train AI models, emphasizing the importance of privacy and protection against data misuse.   

Navigating Risk Created by AI and Web Tracking Tools
SheppardMullin Lead Associates, Alyssa Sones with the Retail Industry Team and Brittany Walter with the Blockchain and Fintech Team, led a session looking at legal risks related to vendor relationships and the use of third party web tracking tools. They shared valuable insights into mitigation strategies designed to proactively navigate those risks.


Venmo Teen Card: Story from the Source
Andra DallasHead of Legal Marketing, NA & Senior Counsel with PayPal presented building a product for teens and what it means creating a perfect recipe (and making sure they like it!) by grabbing the best minds in product engineering, content design, marketing, legal and regulatory stakeholders, privacy professionals and outside counsel. She provided a first-hand look at the process, the bumps in the road, and finally, the launch! 

The Issues with Monetization: How to Stay Compliant with Regulations, Provide Children with Experiences While Meeting Business Needs
Free to use experiences are key if children are to have equal opportunities online but organizations and companies must fund the services they build. The challenges of monetization are many in the children’s space. This final session of the day featuring, Leigh Freund, President & CEO of Network Advertising Initiative (NAI), Luke Pelullo with Rego Payment Architectures, Inc, Jason Williams, CEO of Kidoz Inc. and Celeste Rollason, Senior Child Privacy Expert and Claire Quinn with PRIVO as the moderator, looked at the pitfalls, the possibilities and different use cases that show approaches to succeeding.  

The video of this session and others can be viewed on the event website.

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Thank you to those of you who joined us at the #PRIVOSUMMIT. Stay tuned for more in-person events and webinars throughout the year. 





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