On May 11, 2021, Senators Edward Markey (D-MA) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA) introduced the Children and Teens’ Online Privacy Protection Act (the “Bill”). The Bill, which would amend the existing Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”), would prohibit companies from collecting personal information from children ages 13 to 15 without their consent.
The expanded consent standard would apply where companies “reasonably know” that children are on their platforms. This constructive knowledge standard differs from the “actual knowledge” standard under COPPA, pursuant to which parental consent is required only where a website operator has actual knowledge that children under 13 are using the platform. Notably, the Bill would require the user’s consent if the user is between 13 and 15 (rather than parental consent, which is require to collect information from children under 13 pursuant to COPPA).
The Bill contains a number of other provisions, including (1) a ban on targeted advertising directed at children; (2) certain notice requirements specific to the collection, use and disclosure of children’s personal information for website operators and manufacturers of connected devices; (3) cybersecurity requirements for internet-connected devices targeted toward children; (4) creation of an “Eraser Button” for parents and children, requiring companies to permit users to delete a child or teen’s personal information where technologically feasible; and (5) establishing a Youth Marketing and Privacy Division at the FTC. More information about the Bill can be found in the press release from Senators Markey and Cassidy.
Read the full text of the Bill.