Senators Markey, Blumenthal, Lummis and Cassidy sent letter (PDF) to House and Senate leadership urging key privacy protections for children and teens be included in must-pass legislation this year

Washington (December 14, 2022) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) today hosted a virtual press conference with online privacy advocates Executive Director at Fairplay Josh Golin, Founder and CEO of Common Sense Media Jim Stayer, and Center for Digital Democracy’s Deputy Director and Director for Policy Katharina Kopp to urge Congressional leadership to advance key provisions consistent with Senator Markey’s Children and Teens’ Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA 2.0) in must-pass omnibus legislation so that child and teen online privacy can be delivered to American families before members of Congress head home for the holidays.

The press conference follows a letter from Senator Markey and his bipartisan colleagues Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), and Bill Cassidy (R-La.) to Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy today urging them to advance strong privacy and data protections for children and teens so that Big Tech, including social media companies, cannot treat children’s data like dollar signs.

Children’s privacy is a kitchen-table, bipartisan issue for American parents, who have had a front-row seat to their kids’ online activity during the pandemic and are increasingly concerned about its impact on their mental health. In spite of aggressive lobbying by the tech industry to obstruct federal regulation, Senator Markey has identified four key provisions, which bipartisan Committee leadership in both the House and the Senate have supported in the Children and Teens’ Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA 2.0) and the American Data Privacy and Protection Act (ADPPA): 1) A ban on targeted ads to children; 2) Extension of existing privacy protections for children to young teens, aged 13 to 17; 3) Creation of a Youth Marketing and Privacy Division at the FTC; and 4) A study of the COPPA safe harbor program by the FTC to ensure it is protecting the interests of children.