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Equity in Civic Technology, Free Expression, Privacy & Data

Comments to the FTC on the 2019 COPPA Rule Review

The Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT) respectfully submits these comments regarding the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)’s current inquiry into the scope and application of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule (COPPA Rule).

As the ecosystem of websites and online services has grown more complex over the years, so too has the challenge of enforcing the COPPA Rule. As the Commission looks again at revising the COPPA Rule to account for changes in the online environment affecting children, we urge the Commission to harmonize the Rule as much as possible with other privacy frameworks, and consider whether there is a clearer and more privacy-protective way to align COPPA and the Federal Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) when technology is used in schools. We also urge the Commission to re-examine how the COPPA Rule applies to operators of user-generated content services, and to creators of that content, to ensure that the COPPA Rule does not inadvertently suppress the creation of child-directed or adult-oriented speech.