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Free Expression

How changes to a kids’ privacy law could chill innovation for everyone

Ever wondered why most Terms of Service include a seemingly arbitrary age cut-off, banning users who are under 13? It’s because of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), which restricts the collection of personal information from kids on the Internet. Sites like Club Penguin or Radio Disney that are aimed at children under 13 are required to get verifiable parental consent before collecting personal information from children. Instead, most sites simply ban users under the age of 13—Facebook is a famous example—rather than deal with COPPA’s notice and parental consent requirements.