TechFreedom Event: 20 Years of Coping with COPPA

WASHINGTON D.C. —­­ October 21 will mark the 20th anniversary of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, which governs the collection and use of information from, or about, children age 13 or under. While Congress has not revisited COPPA, the Federal Trade Commission significantly expanded the scope of the COPPA rule in 2013. Last October, the FTC issued an “Enforcement Policy Statement Regarding the Applicability of the COPPA Rule to the Collection and Use of Voice Recording.” What real-world effect have these changes had on the market for children’s content online?

Furthermore, a complaint recently filed with the FTC raises significant questions about COPPA enforcement given the shift from stand-alone websites to third-party platforms for accessing content. How should the FTC determine what portion of a site is “directed to” children, or when a site is directed to children rather than families? How does COPPA’s knowledge standard work? Do platform operators have affirmative duties to identify child-directed content? What do these legal questions mean for creators of content and services for kids?

Finally, Europe’s new General Data Protection Regulation would go beyond COPPA in regulating children’s information. Most notably, GDPR expands the age range covered to include children 13-16 — something Congress considered in 1998 but decided not to do because of First Amendment and practical concerns. How might the European approach to children’s privacy intersect with COPPA? Might Congress revisit the statute — and should it?

Join TechFreedom at 9:15 AM on July 26, for a panel discussion of these critical questions. Breakfast will be served at 8:30 AM.

When: 9:15 – 11:15 AM, July 26th

Where: District Architecture Center 421 7th Street NW, Washington, DC 20004


Panelists will include:

  • Jim Dunstan, General Counsel, TechFreedom (moderator)
  • Maneesha Mithal, Associate Director, Division of Privacy and Identity Protection, FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection
  • Phyllis Marcus, Partner, Hunton Williams, and former Chief of Staff, Division of Advertising Practices, FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection
  • Sara Kloek, Director of Education Policy, Software & Information Industry (SIIA)
  • Berin Szóka, President, TechFreedom


We can be reached for comment at See our work on COPPA, including:

  • “COPPA 2.0: The New Battle Over Privacy, Age Verification, Online Safety & Free Speech”, a white paper by Berin Szoka
  • Our statement, “FTC’s Revised COPPA Rule Invites Court Challenge, Will Cripple Kids’ Sites”
  • Our statement, “TechFreedom Files Comments on FTC’s COPPA Rule Review”
  • Our statement, “TechFreedom Urges FTC Not to Expand COPPA by Changing Definitions”

About TechFreedom:

TechFreedom is a non-profit, non-partisan technology policy think tank. We work to chart a path forward for policymakers towards a bright future where technology enhances freedom, and freedom enhances technology.