NEWS10 May 2011

Congressmen push for Coppa update

Government North America

US— Two congressmen are proposing an update to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (Coppa) to address the concerns of critics who say the rules have not kept up with developments in mobile web and geolocation technology.


Representatives Ed Markey and Joe Barton would prohibit the collection of geolocation data from children under 13 without parental consent. Meanwhile, the definition of ‘personal information’ – which also requires consent ahead of collection – would be extended to cover unique device IDs, such as those assigned to mobile handsets, and IP addresses.

Markey and Barton also want companies to be prohibited from using the personal information of children and teens for targeted marketing purposes.

A draft of the Do Not Track Kids Act has been published here. The Federal Trade Commission last year sought public comment on whether to update Coppa rules in recognition of advancements in mobile computing and interactive media.

Broader online privacy bills has been introduced in the past year in both the House and Senate, as have legislative proposals to establish a do-not-track requirement on internet marketers, the most recent being tabled this week.