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Free Expression

CDT and ALA Supplemental COPPA Comments

The FTC has been reviewing the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act implementing Rule since 2010. In these comments, CDT and the ALA are responding to supplemental changes to the COPPA Rule that the FTC proposed in August 2012. While we acknowledge and support the FTC’s sincere effort to update the Rule to continue protecting children’s personal information online, we argue against two proposed changes that would dramatically expand the scope of sites covered under COPPA’s “directed to children” definition: applying COPPA obligations to third-party plugin developers whose code gets used on sites directed to children, and counting as “directed to children” sites that have “a disproportionately large percentage of children” in their audience. Both of these proposals are too vague to give operators and developers a clear understanding of their obligation under the law, and would create significant burdens on free expression and innovation.