District of Columbia
2010 Children's Online Privacy Protection Act Rule Review
Berin Szoka and Adam Thierer of The Progress & Freedom Foundation submit these comments to supplement the joint comments PFF filed on June 30, 2010, with the Center for Democracy & Technology (“CDT”) and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (“EFF”), as well as PFF’s extensive previous work, publications and Congressional testimony on this subject. which we submitted as comments on July 3, 2010, and in response to other comments filed in this proceeding. We reiterate here our repeated warnings about the perils of expanding COPPA’s age scope or diluting the two standards that currently prevent COPPA from requiring age verification of adults: COPPA requires verifiable parental consent only (i) when a site or service that “collects” personal information is “directed to” children or (ii) when the operator has “actual knowledge” it is dealing with a child. In particular, we address COPPA expansion proposals raised by Common Sense Media (“CSM”) and a coalition led by the Center for Digital Democracy (“CDD”). We also note the dangers inherent in a third form of COPPA expansion: re-defining “personal information” so broadly as to make COPPA applicable to any visit by a child to certain sites.