FTC Announces Crack Down” on COPPA Violations by Ed Tech Companies

| 9 min

Amidst the rising focus on privacy issues affecting children and teens (which we’ve highlighted here, here, here, and here), the FTC just released a new Policy Statement on COPPA, its signature rule protecting the privacy of kids under 13. The Policy Statement, which the FTC unveiled at its May 19 Open Meeting, focuses in particular on COPPA’s application to education technologies used in and by schools to support learning (including remote learning during the pandemic). All five Commissioners voted for the Statement, including newly sworn-in Commissioner Bedoya, and four issued their own written statements. After the meeting, a bipartisan group of Senators, as well as President Biden, released statements praising the FTC’s actions.

While the FTC’s Republican Commissioners questioned whether there was anything really new in the Policy Statement (which was based on longstanding COPPA provisions, as well as FAQs posted on the FTC’s website), all seemed to agree that it elevates the issues highlighted and shows that COPPA is a top FTC priority.