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FTC Proposes Updates to Kids' Privacy Law

In late 2023, the Federal Trade Commission published notice that it would seek comments on proposed updates to COPPA, the federal law covering children's privacy online. The announcement seems like part of a greater move for children's privacy at both the federal and state levels: many states passed kids' privacy or social media control legislation in 2023, and Congress has been discussing an update to COPPA for quite some time.

Why It Matters

Many websites would not be affected by a COPPA update, but this area is one to keep an eye on generally. As regulators go after perceived privacy harms to children, they are expanding the age range of “children” protected by the laws, and they are broadening the reach of the laws enough that many general-purpose websites could fall under the laws if they take effect. Even if your business does not cater to children, it is worth staying abreast of how regulators view interaction with minors online.  

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The FTC highlighted proposed updates within the children's privacy NPRM that focus on both privacy and online safety. Proposed privacy provisions include requiring verifiable parental opt-in consent for targeted advertising, data retention limits, COPPA Safe Harbor accountability and codifying FTC education technology guidelines.

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