Senate Commerce Committee Passes Cassidy Children and Teens’ Online Privacy Protection Act

Published 10:11 am Wednesday, July 27, 2022

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) released a statement on the Senate Commerce Committee passing his Children and Teens’ Online Privacy Protection Act through the committee. The bipartisan Children and Teens’ Online Privacy Protection Act now awaits full Senate consideration. Cassidy joined Senator Edward Markey (D-MA) in introducing the bill.

“As a parent and grandparent, I want our kids to be safe online and for parents to feel confident that their child’s information is protected,” said Dr. Cassidy. “We are one step closer to increasing security of kids and teens’ personal data.”

The Children and Teens’ Online Privacy Protection Act updates the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) by prohibiting internet companies from collecting personal information from anyone 13- to 15-years old without the user’s consent; creating an online “Eraser Button” by requiring companies to permit users to eliminate personal information from a child or teen; and implementing a “Digital Marketing Bill of Rights for Minors” that limits the collection of personal information from teens. The bill also establishes a first-of-its-kind Youth Privacy and Marketing Division at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which will be responsible for addressing the privacy of children and minors and marketing directed at children and minors.

The Children and Teens’ Online Privacy Protection Act of 2021 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;
  • Revises COPPA’s “actual knowledge” standard to a “constructive knowledge” standard so that websites that should reasonably know that kids are on their websites need to get consent in order to collect children’s 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;
  • Require manufacturers of connected devices targeted to children and minors to prominently display on their packaging a privacy dashboard detailing how information is collected, transmitted, retained, used, and protected; and
  • 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.