Children’s online privacy provides blueprint for public policy

Source: Kathryn Montgomery & Jeff Chester, Thr Hill Op Ed

In the wake of the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica scandal and other recent tech industry controversies, Congress finally appears ready to begin tackling comprehensive online privacy legislation. As this debate heats up, we also mark the 20th anniversary of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act.

COPPA, as it is called, regulates websites and other digital services targeted at children under 13. Based on longstanding international privacy principles, COPPA limits the collection of personal information from children, establishing an “opt-in” model, which requires a parent or caregiver to provide informed and affirmative consent. COPPA also places obligations on companies for adequate disclosure, protection, and use of children’s data. To date, COPPA is the only Federal Internet privacy law on the books.

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