Earlier today, members of Congress and regulators gathered for a symposium on “The Impact of Media on the Health & Well-Being of Children.” Participants included Congressman Edward Markey (D-MA), Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Jon Leibowitz, Chairman, Federal Trade Commission, and Mignon Clyburn, Commissioner, Federal Communications Commission, as well as researchers and members of the public interest community. In response to a question, Chairman Leibowitz informed the audience that the FTC expects to issue a revised Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”) Rule by “the end of the year and hopefully sooner.”
During their remarks, Congressmen Markey and Wasserman Shultz each expressed support for the Do Not Track Kids Act of 2011 (H.R. 1895), which we have blogged about here. The bill would expand privacy protections for minors under the age of 18, including a prohibition on the use of personal information for targeted marketing to minors and a requirement that website operators provide “eraser buttons” to enable the deletion of personal information shared publicly by minors. Senator Blumenthal also indicated that he was supportive of the legislative proposal, which he described as “common sensical,” although he stated that there likely would be substantial concern among advertisers and other stakeholders about implementation issues.