Federal Digital Marketing Bill of Rights for Minors Seeks to Expand COPPA

As federal lawmakers continue to grapple with what a federal privacy bill might look like, new legislation has been introduced that targets specific data privacy issues.

Digital Marketing Legislation

Federal legislators have proposed Senate Bill 748, the Digital Marketing Bill of Rights for Minors.

If passed, the online privacy legislation would amend the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 to strengthen protections relating to the online collection, use, and disclosure of personal information of children and minors, and for other purposes.

The bill would amend COPPA to prohibit behaviorally targeted ads from being directed to anyone under the age of 16. It would also obligate companies to obtain express consent from children between the ages of 13 and 15 before collecting their personal information or location data.

The Digital Marketing Bill of Rights for Minors was unveiled by Senators Edward Markey (D-Mass.) and Josh Hawley (R-Miss.).

“In 2019, children and adolescents’ every move is monitored online, and even the youngest are bombarded with advertising when they go online to do their homework, talk to friends and play games,” Sen. Markey said. “If we can agree on anything, it should be that children deserve strong and effective protections online.”

Provisions That Impact Digital Platforms

The bill includes key provisions that impact digital platforms.

  • Prohibits the collection of personal and location information from children under 13 without parental consent
  • Prohibits the collection of personal and location information from 13 to 15-year-olds unless the platform receives user consent
  • Establishes an “Eraser Button” to allow parents and children to delete a child’s personal information

Lawmakers are also calling for a Youth Privacy and Marketing Division at the Federal Trade Commission to address children’s privacy and marketing practices targeted at minors.

Internet-Connected Devices

The proposed legislation would also prohibit the sale of Internet-connected devices targeted to children and minors unless “robust cybersecurity standards” are satisfied, including the display of how personal information is collected, transmitted, retained, used and protected.

Congress and FTC attorneys are expected to continue to increase their data privacy related regulatory enforcement efforts, including those related to children’s privacy.

If you are interested in learning more about data privacy compliance, or if you are the subject of an FTC investigation or enforcement matter, contact the author at [email protected].or follow FTC defense lawyer on National Law Review.

Richard B. Newman is an Internet marketing attorney at Hinch Newman LLP.

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