Washington (July 27, 2023) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, released the following statement today after the committee voted – without any opposition – to advance the Children and Teens’ Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA 2.0), legislation to update online privacy protections for the 21st century to ensure children and teens are protected online:

“The internet has changed dramatically since Congress passed my COPPA legislation more than two decades ago—but our online privacy rules for young people have not kept up. As Big Tech turns to artificial intelligence to supercharge its targeted advertising and black-box algorithms, Congress has a moral obligation to deliver for the kids, teens, parents, physicians, and public health experts who are demanding we act to address our skyrocketing youth mental health crisis.

“The safety and wellbeing of kids and teens online is a kitchen-table, bipartisan priority for American families, and it should be a bipartisan priority in Congress. Today’s unopposed vote to advance COPPA 2.0 through the Senate Commerce Committee is a tremendous step forward in our fight to deliver on the promise of a 21st century online privacy regime that is equipped to protect kids and teens so they will no longer be manipulated or targeted by Big Tech.

“I thank Senator Cassidy for being my partner in this fight and look forward to working with my colleagues to bring COPPA 2.0 to a vote on the floor of the United States Senate so that kids and teens can have the online privacy protections they deserve.”

Specifically, the COPPA 2.0 legislation which advanced through the Commerce Committee today would:

  1. Build on COPPA by prohibiting internet companies from collecting personal information from users who are 13 to 16 years old without their consent;  
  2. Ban targeted advertising to children and teens; 
  3. Revise COPPA’s “actual knowledge” standard; 
  4. Create an “Eraser Button” for parents and kids by requiring companies to permit users to eliminate content or personal information from a child or teen when technologically feasible; and,
  5. Establish a “Digital Marketing Bill of Rights for Teens” that limits the collection of personal information of teens.

Senator Markey is the author of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998, the nation’s governing children’s online privacy law. He and Senator Bill Cassidy (R-La.) reintroduced COPPA 2.0 in May. In December, Senator Markey and his colleagues successfully passed the Children and Media Research Advancement (CAMRA) Act, which would fund research about technology and media’s effects on infants, children and adolescents in core areas of cognitive, physical and socio-emotional development. He also authored the Children’s Television Act that established critical media and advertising rules to protect children’s wellbeing.