Privacy groups press FTC for update on COPPA investigation

(Nov 15, 2018) In April, a group of privacy organizations filed a complaint with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission against YouTube where they asked for the video platform site to be investigated for possible violations of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. Now, the same privacy groups are pressing the FTC to learn the status of their complaint, Broadcasting & Cable reports. YouTube’s parent company, Google, has denied the group’s claim that the site is the most popular online platform for kids. ... Read More

Sens. ask FTC to investigate advertising in children's apps

(Nov 14, 2018) Sens. Ed Markey, D-Mass., Tom Udall, D-N.M., and Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., have asked the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to investigate advertising in children’s apps, Gizmodo reports. In their letter to the FTC, the senators write some of the marketing techniques used in the apps violate Section 5 of the FTC Act. The senators cited several examples of exploitative advertising currently used in children’s apps and have given the agency until Dec. 4 to respond to their letter. “The FTC has a st... Read More

New report raises concerns over the collection of children's data

(Nov 9, 2018) MIT’s Technology Review reports for the first time, children can be “datafied” from birth. The finding comes as a result of a new report, published by the children’s commissioner for England, which found that by the time a child is 13, parents have posted an average of 1,300 photos on social media. Calling for more transparency over how companies collect data connected to children, the authors of the report argue that not enough deliberation has been given to the consequences of what this prolif... Read More

Report finds 'manipulative and disruptive' advertising in children's apps

(Oct 31, 2018) Researchers from the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital analyzed 135 apps targeted to children between 1 and 5 years old and found high rates of mobile advertising through "manipulative and disruptive methods," The Washington Post reports. With 95 percent of the apps showing at least one type of advertising to the child, Jenny Radesky, author of the study, said in a statement, “This has important implications for advertising regulation, the ethics of child app design, as well a... Read More

School's surveillance plans prompt larger privacy conversation

(Oct 31, 2018) An article for Motherboard looks at the surveillance tactics utilized by one upstate New York school district in an attempt to bolster school safety and reflects on the growing conversation around increased security measures. While there is a tendency to solve issues with technology, one parent who has actively campaigned against the school’s use of facial-recognition technology said, “Some people have taken that fear and used it as a device to generate public empathy and support for doing somet... Read More

Pros discuss pros and cons of classroom apps

(Oct 26, 2018) University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Education Joel Westheimer and Trend Micro Vice President of Cloud Research Mark Nunnikhoven discussed the benefits and privacy risks of classroom apps, CBC News reports. Westheimer said the apps can give feedback to teachers and parents and give parents the ability to see what their children work on. Nunnikhoven notes most of the apps are based in the U.S. and therefore are subject to different privacy laws than the ones enforced in Canada. Nunnikhoven adds ther... Read More

Op-ed: How COPPA can serve as a model for a future privacy framework

(Oct 24, 2018) In an op-ed for The Hill, Kathryn Montgomery and Jeff Chester reflect on key lessons from their time spent campaigning for the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act 20 years ago. Believing that COPPA can help serve policymakers who are now tasked with developing a framework for internet privacy, they urge policymakers to observe the longstanding success of the regulation as a model for future privacy laws. Montgomery and Chester write the four key takeaways from their experience show that reg... Read More

FTC looks back on 20 years of COPPA

(Oct 22, 2018) In a blog post marking the occasion, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission looks back at 20 years of the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act, noting, "Many of the kids the law was originally designed to protect are now parents themselves." The FTC's Peder Magee notes the agency "continues to be committed to rigorous COPPA enforcement" and that the law has "responded to developments in technology." Magee says the FTC also "seeks new ways to ensure verifiable parental consent" and that self-regul... Read More

Irish DPC launches data privacy education pilot program for children

(Oct 18, 2018) The Irish Data Protection Commission has launched pilot data privacy education modules in three schools within the country, reports. The modules are targeted toward three different age groups: 9 to 10, 14 to 15, and 16 and older. Data Protection Commissioner Helen Dixon said she plans to host a public consultation later this year to discuss the benefits of data privacy education in schools and that initial feedback to the pilot program could inform a national lesson plan. "We... Read More

Sen. Warner discusses America's failure to lead in cybersecurity

(Oct 18, 2018) In an interview for Slate’s tech podcast, If Then, Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., discusses why he believes the tech industry has received a pass from lawmakers, what are realistic privacy protections, how U.S. cyber capabilities lag behind other world powers, and why educating lawmakers on cybersecurity and data protection is critical to any solution. As vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Sen. Warner said the conservation around privacy and data protection has only begun in the last ... Read More