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UPDATE: Children's Privacy Legislation Advances through the Senate

by Claire Quinn

July 28, 2022

Two child and teen privacy bills will move forward following yesterday’s meeting of the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.

The Children & Teen’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA 2.0) and the Kids Online Safety Act (KOSA) will now go before the full Senate.  A key concern raised with COPPA 2.0 was the extent of the proposed FTC rule making authority. This will be further debated. PRIVO will keep you posted on progress. 

Legislation Summary

The Children & Teen’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA 2.0) would:

  • Build on COPPA’s consent requirements by prohibiting internet companies from collecting personal information from users who are 13 to 15 years old without the user’s consent;  
  • Ban targeted advertising (as opposed to contextual advertising) directed at children; 
  • Establish a “Digital Marketing Bill of Rights for Teens” that limits the collection of personal information of teens;
  • Require an operator of a website, online service, online application, or mobile application, or connected device that is direct to children or minors or is used or is reasonably likely to be used by children or minors in a manner that involves the collection of their personal information, —get consent in order to collect children and minors data;
  • Create an “Eraser Button” for parents and kids by requiring companies to permit users to eliminate personal information from a child or teen when technologically feasible;
  • Establish a Youth Marketing and Privacy Division at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC);
  • Require online companies to explain the types of personal information collected, how that information is used and disclosed, and the policies for collection of personal information;
  • Require that internet connected devices targeted toward children meet robust cyber security standards;
  • Commission reports on the effectiveness of the COPPA safe harbor program.

Groups endorsing the Children and Teens’ Online Privacy Protection Act include Common Sense Media, Center for Digital Democracy, Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood, Consumer Federation of America, Consumer Action, Children Now, Color of ChangeBerkeley Media Studies Group, American Heart Association, the Public Health Institute, American Academy of Pediatrics, and Focus on the Family. 

For more information on The Children & Teen’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA 2.0) click here.

The Kids Online Safety Act of 2022 (KOSA) bill:

  • Provides parents and kids safeguards and tools to protect kids’ experiences online: The bill requires social media platforms provide minors with options to protect their information, disable addictive product features, and opt-out of algorithmic recommendations—and requires platforms to enable the strongest settings by default. The bill also gives parents new controls to help support their children and spot harmful behaviors, including by providing children and parents with a dedicated channel to report harms to kids to the platform.

  • Creates accountability for social media’s harms to kids: The bill creates a duty for social media platforms to prevent and mitigate harms to minors, such as content promoting of self- harm, suicide, eating disorders, substance abuse, and sexual exploitation. It also requires social media platforms perform an annual independent audit assessing risks to minors, their compliance with this Act, and whether the platform is taking meaningful steps to prevent those harms.

  • Opens up black box algorithms: The bill provides academic researchers and non-profit organizations with access to critical datasets from social media platforms to foster research regarding harms to the safety and well-being of minors.

For more information about KOSA, click here.

 

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