FTC Privacy Proposals Threaten Free Speech

It's "for the children," as usual


Back in the waning years of the Clinton administration, Congress quietly enacted an important internet privacy bill (the passage of which was overshadowed by other, more salacious developments). The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act ("COPPA") requires any website "target[ing]" children under the age of 13 to notify a child's parent and receive verifiable consent before collecting personal information from that child. A lot of COPPA is about controlling online marketing activities involving young children, who may not appreciate the dangers in disclosing sensitive personal information to commercial entities.