On October 26, 2022, House Energy and Commerce Committee and Consumer Protection and Commerce Subcommittee leaders (“Committee Leaders”) sent letters to several toy manufacturers, including Bandai Namco, Hasbro, Mattel, MGA Entertainment, LEGO Group and the Toy Association, asking how they plan to protect children and their information from BigTech companies like TikTok and YouTube. Given the shift of marketing efforts from traditional television outlets to social media platforms, Committee Leaders are concerned about failure to protect children’s privacy, security and mental health on social media platforms.
In their letters, Committee Leaders asked the toy manufacturers various questions around their practices and how they plan on protecting children’s privacy on various social media platforms. The Committee Leaders also discuss how social media platforms collect large amounts of information on their users, including children, and how these platforms have had questionable practices in the past (e.g., in 2019, when TikTok (formerly, Musical.ly) and YouTube were found to have violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”) by the FTC). The Committee Leaders, by requesting this information from toy manufacturers, indicated that they hope to promote children’s privacy and transparency around how toy manufacturers will address these privacy-related issues.
The letters from the Committee Leaders asked that each toy manufacturer respond by November 9, 2022.