NetChoice Reaction to FTC’s New COPPA Rule

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – NetChoice fully supports the FTC’s ongoing effort to protect kids, but these changes reach too far, threatening to stifle the development of innovative tools and resources for children.
 

Keeping children safe online and offline is a priority for regulators and parents alike. The FTC has engaged in a deliberative process to ensure that the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) remains effective and up to date. NetChoice agrees with these goals but has serious concerns that the new regulations lack critical details to protect innovative online services.

 

“The broad reaching changes to COPPA will deter innovation on websites not directed to children, and the changes will discourage creation of new educational tools for children,” said Steve DelBianco Executive Director of NetChoice. “The regulations should remain focused on websites that knowingly communicate with children — not cast a net so wide it is impossible to comply with.”
Specific concerns include:

 

  • New requirements for websites to manually review every uploaded image to see if it includes a child.

 

  • Broad ambiguity in determining whether a site is covered by COPPA or not.  Despite two years of deliberation, the FTC still has not provided clarity the e-commerce industry needs.

 

  • Under this new regime, valuable resources with a mixed audience would be vulnerable to action under COPPA.

 

NetChoice is a public policy advocacy organization that promotes Internet innovation and communication and fights threats to online commerce at state, federal and international levels.  The Washington, DC-based group protects Internet commerce-driven competition and battles rules that hinder consumer choice and hurt small businesses.  For more information, see www.netchoice.org.