Twenty years after the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act was signed into law, the Institute today hosted a conference focused on COPPA's implementation, the challenges posed by new technologies, and lessons to be learned in protecting children's online privacy.
The event featured FTC Commissioner Rebecca Slaughter, remarks from COPPA’s author Senator Ed Markey, and a host of panelists from academic, government, consumer advocacy groups and industry.
During her opening remarks, the Institute’s Executive Director Alexandra Givens highlighted Georgetown’s deep connection to COPPA. Our Institute for Public Representation Communications Clinic played an active role in the work that led to enactment of the law in the 1990s, under the leadership of Professor Angela Campbell. Over the past 20 years, students in the clinic have filed 13 requests asking the FTC to investigate alleged COPPA violations, filed extensive comments in the 2012 COPPA update rulemaking, and submitted comments on all of the COPPA Safe Harbor proposals.
The day’s panels were moderated by Georgetown faculty and staff who have direct experience with COPPA. Dean Paul Ohm was a Senior Policy Advisor at the FTC at the time of the 2012 amendments to the COPPA rule. Laura Moy, now Executive Director of Georgetown’s Center on Privacy & Technology, led the IPR clinic in 2016 when it filed a complaint over “influencer” marketing targeting children on YouTube. Professor David Vladeck ran the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, which is charged with enforcing COPPA, from 2009-2012, including overseeing the 2012 rewrite of the FTC’s COPPA rules.
The event reflected a rich mix of viewpoints on COPPA’s strengths, weaknesses, and the challenges of protecting children’s privacy in the new digital age.
Thanks to our great speakers, panelists, and engaged audience, and to our cosponsors for the event: the Future of Privacy Forum, the Center for Democracy & Technology, CommonSense Media and Consumers Union.