The Federal Trade Commission is proposing changes to online protections for children under 13 that would put further restrictions on websites trying to obtain their data.
On Wednesday, FTC Chair Lina Khan issued a statement on the proposed expansion of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), which already restricts websites and online services.
While the bill already covers limits to data that can be collected and how long it can be stored on those platforms, the proposed expansion would cover parental consent as it relates to third-party advertisers.
It also prohibits websites from using personal information to send push notifications to children encouraging them to stay online, as well as limiting data retention even further.
“The proposed changes to COPPA are much-needed, especially in an era where online tools are essential for navigating daily life — and where firms are deploying increasingly sophisticated digital tools to surveil children,” Khan said.
“By requiring firms to better safeguard kids’ data, our proposal places affirmative obligations on service providers and prohibits them from outsourcing their responsibilities to parents,” she added.
The agency said it made the proposal when it received over 175,000 public comments in 2019 after beginning its most recent review of the regulations under COPPA, which became law in 2000 and was revised in 2013.
In 2019, The Verge noted, the FTC made Google pay $170 million for YouTube violating child privacy standards – the largest COPPA fine in history up until that point. TikTok was also required to pay $5.7 million.
Lawmakers have recently worked in a bipartisan fashion to address children’s safety online.
The Senate Judiciary Committee passed the Kids Online Safety Act earlier this year, expanding COPPA, but it is yet to reach the floor.
Luca Cacciatore | email@example.com
Luca Cacciatore, a Newsmax general assignment writer, is based in Arlington, Virginia, reporting on news and politics.
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