On May 19, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) adopted, on a unanimous basis, a policy statement reminding educational technology vendors (“ed tech vendors”) of their duty to comply with the substantive privacy protections of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”) and the Commission-issued COPPA Rule. The policy statement reiterates the requirements of the Rule and previous informal guidance from Commission staff, and makes clear that ed tech vendors may not submit children to commercial surveillance and data monetization practices when using technology in the classroom.
Jenna Zhang is an associate in the firm’s San Francisco office. She is a member of the Litigation and Investigations Practice Group. She also maintains an active pro bono practice with a focus on immigration.
2021 was another busy year for data privacy regulatory enforcement and litigation. With some distance to reflect on last year, we have prepared this post identifying and describing important trends from 2021 that can help provide insight into what to expect in the data privacy landscape in 2022.
Data Privacy Regulatory Enforcement Trends
Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and state enforcement action in 2021 centered on several key areas, including protecting children.
An FTC enforcement action last year alleged that the maker of an online coloring book application violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) by collecting personal information about children who used the app without notifying their parents and obtaining their consent. The allegations note that the app included a “Kids” category that was targeted to children. The FTC further claimed that the app’s social media features collected personal information from users and that some parents, lacking knowledge of these features, may have inadvertently permitted their young children to use the app.
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