FTC Aims to Toughen COPPA and Protect Kids’ Data from Exploitation

The FTC wants to update COPPA to make it harder for tech companies to track and profit from children’s data. The proposed changes include limiting how long companies can keep data from minors and requiring parental consent for targeted marketing. COPPA has been in place since April 2000, and currently, online services and websites must be transparent before collecting data from minors. In 2013, the FTC broadened the definition of personal information under COPPA to include geolocation and images of children. Now, the FTC seeks to expand the definition again to include biometric data and to scrutinize push notifications that encourage children to keep using digital services. The goal is to prevent companies from exploiting children’s vulnerability and trust. The FTC also aims to restrict the monetization of children’s data generated in the classroom. The proposed changes have garnered support from FTC Commissioner Alvaro Bedoya and FTC Chair Lina Khan. The public has 60 days to comment on the proposal before further regulatory action is taken.