April 17, 2024

Cassidy, Markey Announce Growing Support for Their Bipartisan, Bicameral Children’s Online Privacy Legislation

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) and Ed Markey (D-MA) today announced new cosponsors and organizational support for their bipartisan, bicameral Children and Teens’ Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA 2.0)

Along with Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Ted Cruz (R-TX), the Chair and Ranking Member of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, who cosponsored COPPA 2.0 in February, the following senators are new cosponsors of the legislation: Senators Laphonza Butler (D-CA), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Angus King (I-ME), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Gary Peters (D-MI), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Peter Welch (D-VT), and Ron Wyden (D-OR).

“With COPPA 2.0 introduced in the House and new cosponsors in the Senate, momentum is quickly building for our critical legislation to protect children and teens’ online privacy,” said the senators. “We must put an end to the pervasive online tracking and targeting of our young people. We thank our colleagues for the support of COPPA 2.0 and are committed to enacting these essential protections into law.”

“I am deeply concerned by the way our children are tracked online,” said Senator Butler. “If we cannot rely on Big Tech companies to make good on their commitment to prioritize children’s privacy over profits, we need to legislate them into action and make crystal clear the urgent need for reform.”

“All individuals, including children, are the rightful owners of their personal information. They should be granted a certain set of privacy rights and the ability to protect those rights. This legislation safeguards the data of America’s kids and prevents targeted ads, protecting our children as they navigate an increasingly digital world,” said Senator Crapo

“As the online environment evolves, it’s critical that we update how we protect our children from consuming online content that could be detrimental to their development and safety,” said Senator King. “The bipartisan, bicameral Children and Teens’ Online Privacy Protection Act will ensure that our children are guarded from pervasive tracking and targeting, often used by companies or bad actors looking to manipulate our young family members. Maine has a strong tradition of supporting digital literacy and learning, and this bill will act as a backstop for the online safety of our children.”

“Despite the dangers our kids are exposed to online, it’s been more than 25 years since Congress passed any legislation regulating the Internet,” said Senator Klobuchar. “This critical legislation will bring much-needed updates to our data privacy laws, empowering parents and young people to control how their data is collected and used.”

“I’m proud to join my colleagues in supporting this legislation that updates the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act to better protect our teens and kids online,” said Senator Luján. “Our country has a responsibility to put them in a position for success. That’s why I’m supporting this bipartisan solution that better protects youth by preventing harmful data collection practices while holding tech companies accountable.”

“The bipartisan, bicameral Children and Teens’ Online Privacy Protection Act is crucial to protecting the safety of our young people online,” said Senator Manchin. “We must protect our country’s youth from the dangers of social media and invasive data collection and I’m pleased that support for the bill is growing. I will continue working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to advance this important, commonsense legislation to keep our children and teens safe on the Internet.”

“Social media companies are making billions of dollars every year from ads targeted at teens in the United States. So it’s no wonder why they have no appetite to change their business model on their own. It’s working for them – just not for the millions of young kids who are sad and lonely and angry because of it. These kids need help. And because the companies have shown time and again that they won’t step up, Congress must instead,” said Senator Schatz

“Our children’s lives are increasingly integrated with the internet, from completing homework to connecting with friends. As our kids and grandkids spend more time online, ensuring they are protected from harm is a shared priority—whether you’re in a red state or blue state. This bill will enact crucial protections to help safeguard children and teens’ online privacy,” said Senator Welch

“I’ve said for years that forcing companies to protect the privacy of kids, teens, and all Americans is the single best thing Congress can do to make the internet safer and more trustworthy. For this reason, I strongly support Senator Markey’s COPPA 2.0. It’s beyond time that we limited the data companies can collect on teens. This is the best way to curb companies’ ability to target minors with ads and harmful content,” said Senator Wyden.

New organizations supporting COPPA 2.0 include the AASA, The School Superintendents Association, American Federation of Teachers, Association of Educational Service Agencies, Association of School Business Officials International (ASBO), Consortium for School Networking, Council of the Great City Schools, National Association for Pupil Transportation, National Education Association, National Rural Education Association, National School Boards Association, Public Interest Privacy Center, and Public Knowledge. 

“AASA is proud to support COPPA 2.0. We commend Senators Markey and Cassidy for their tireless work on the Children and Teens’ Online Privacy Protection Act, and are pleased to see today’s legislation balance two critical priorities: supporting the incorporation of education technology into education to promote learning and success for students and ensuring student data privacy. We look forward to continuing to work with Congress to ensure COPPA 2.0 maintains its enhanced privacy protections for children and teens online, and that these protections do not have unintended consequences for our nation’s schools,” said Dr. David R. Schuler, Executive Director of AASA, The School Superintendents Association.

“The Public Interest Privacy Center (PIPC) is proud to support the updated version of COPPA 2.0 and its codification of long-standing administrative policy allowing schools to consent to educational technology uses. COPPA 2.0 finds the right balance between protecting child and teen privacy online while allowing schools to provide appropriate, technology-enhanced educational opportunities to all students,” said Amelia Vance, President of Public Interest Privacy Center. 

Last week, Representatives Tim Walberg (R-MI-05) and Kathy Castor (D-FL-14) introduced the House companion to COPPA 2.0. In July 2023, the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee unanimously passed COPPA 2.0.