U.S. May Well Settle On Heightened Children and Teen Privacy Protections
CIA releases report showing bulk data collection; SEC proposes new cybersecurity rules for some of its regulated entities; EARN IT Act sent to full Senate
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It is entirely possible the United States (U.S.) Congress goes small on data privacy as a way of moving ahead from the current impasse on privacy. The U.S. has traveled this path before, notably with the enactment of the “Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA)” in 1998. The recent revelations of internal Meta/Facebook research showing that some of its products have caused harm to children and teens also lends weight to child and teen focused privacy legislation. Moreover, Republicans on the House committee of jurisdiction have emphasized the harm of online platforms to the mental health of children and teens, which would presumably make them more inclined to supporting privacy legislation for this slice of the U.S. if a broader bill is not possible. However, none of the of bills proposed in their Big Tech Agenda would revise COPPA.
Moreover, it is not entirely clear how the incentives to pass legislation improve or worsen as we get closer to mid-term elections. One can spin any number of hypothetical scenarios supporting the supposition that even targeted privacy legislation has no chance this year, or the opposite.
However, I may be wrong. Former Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chair Jon Leibowitz claimed in an opinion piece published yesterday: