Washington (April 9, 2024) - Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), member of Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, Senator Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Representative Kathy Castor (FL-14), and Representative Tim Walberg (MI-05) today announced the introduction of the House companion to the Children and Teens’ Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA 2.0).

In July 2023, the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee unanimously passed COPPA 2.0. In February 2024, Senators Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas), the Chair and Ranking Member of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, agreed to cosponsor COPPA 2.0.

“The introduction of the House companion to COPPA 2.0 is a critical moment for kids, teens, and parents across the country,” said Senator Markey. “This bipartisan, bicameral bill has been intensely vetted and commands broad ideological support. This is the time to pass online privacy legislation for kids and teens and stand up to the Big Tech oligarchs who continue to track and target young people online. We have never been closer to the finish line, and I will not stop until COPPA 2.0 is the law of the land.”

“Rules from over 25 years ago for social media sites that did not even exist at the time are not equipped to keep children and teenagers safe online. Glad to see the House introduce COPPA 2.0 to give parents peace of mind and prohibit internet companies from collecting personal information on young teenagers without consent,” said Dr. Cassidy.

“For many years, I've called out the manipulative and dark practices of Big Tech platforms and sounded the alarm about incessant surveillance and the tracking of young people,” said Congresswoman Kathy Castor. COPPA 2.0 builds upon current law to strengthen protections related to the online collection, use and disclosure of personal information of children and minors up to age 16. This bill will address the excessive collection and surveillance of youth, ban harmful targeted advertising and prompt Big Tech platforms to provide young people and parents with the tools needed to navigate the online world.”

“Children and teens are facing unprecedented pressure and manipulation online, resulting in a youth mental health crisis,” said Congressman Walberg. “It is very clear that online platforms’ data practices meaningfully contribute to this alarming trend. Since COPPA's enactment in 1998, we've seen the Internet landscape change dramatically many times over. Along with these changes are emerging and evolving privacy risks targeting our children. It's time we strengthen and modernize the law to better protect our most vulnerable. I want to thank Representative Castor, Senator Markey, and Senator Cassidy for their leadership on this issue and I look forward to advancing it in the House.”

COPPA 2.0 modernizes and strengthens the only online privacy law for children, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). Congress passed COPPA in 1998 to institute basic privacy protections for users under age 13, including notice and parental consent requirements. While COPPA took major steps towards safeguarding children’s personal information on the internet, the law is overdue for an update in light of major changes in the online landscape. In particular, the Children and Teens’ Online Privacy Protection Act would:

  • Build on COPPA by prohibiting internet companies from collecting personal information from users who are 13 to 16 years old without their consent; 
  • Ban targeted advertising to children and teens
  • Revise COPPA’s “actual knowledge” standard to close the loophole that allows covered platforms to ignore kids and teens on their site; 
  • Create an “Eraser Button” by requiring companies to permit users to eliminate personal information from a child or teen when technologically feasible; and 
  • Establish data minimization rules to prohibit the excessive collection of children and teens’ data. 

“Americans of all political stripes want strong data privacy protections. But more importantly than that, kids and teens need better protections, as they are especially vulnerable to and harmed by the current online landscape, exacerbated by today's grossly outdated federal data privacy law. Common Sense Media is heartened to see more momentum to protect young people online with the introduction of this strong bi-partisan House bill to update COPPA, and with the growing bi-partisan support for COPPA 2.0 in the Senate. We urge members of the House and the Senate to demonstrate that they really understand just how important it is to make kids and teens a higher priority by passing this privacy bill and other needed kids' online safety measures without delay,” said James P. Steyer, Founder and CEO at Common Sense Media.

“Digital marketers are expanding their manipulative and unfair data-driven marketing tactics to profile, target, discriminate, and exploit children and teens across all the online services they use. This is also causing unacceptable privacy and public health harms. The Children and Teens' Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA 2.0) is urgently needed to provide crucial safeguards and to update federal protections that were first enacted almost 25 years ago. We applaud the introduction of the House COPPA 2.0 companion bill by Rep. Walberg (R-Mich.) and Rep. Castor (D-FL). We urge Congress to quickly enact it into law. Any delay bringing the bill to a vote would expose children, adolescents, and their families to greater harms,” said Katharina Kopp, Deputy Director at Center for Digital Democracy.

“We applaud Representatives Castor and Walberg for introducing the Children and Teens' Online Privacy Protection Act. Protecting kids and teens' data and banning targeted marketing to young people is critical to addressing the harms of Big Tech. Strong data privacy rules that stem the flow of sensitive data to tech companies will help limit toxic algorithmic recommendations and ensure minors’ privacy and safety wherever they are online in the 21st century,” said Haley Hinkle, Policy Counsel at Fairplay.

“As our nation continues to grapple with a youth mental health crisis, we must address the role of social media and other digital platforms. New data privacy protections for youth are a meaningful step toward creating a digital ecosystem that better supports their mental health—and it's within Congress's reach. The Children and Teens’ Online Privacy Protection Act is a bill that has the potential to make a meaningful difference, and the American Academy of Pediatrics is proud to endorse it. The bill would ban targeted advertising to teens and prevent platforms from using young people’s data to create online experiences that can be harmful to their health and development. We applaud Senators Markey and Cassidy for their bipartisan work on this legislation, and commend Reps. Walberg and Castor for their leadership introducing a bipartisan companion bill in the House. Now is the time for Congress to act,” said Benjamin Hoffman, MD, FAAP, President of the American Academy of Pediatrics.