We previously wrote about how toys, baby monitors, and other smart devices collect, use, and disclose personal information about children, and risks to children’s privacy. As adults responsible for the safety of children in our care, learning about how smart devices collect, use, and disclose personal information of children should be a top priority, just as we oversee physical safety for those in our care.

Although the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) was a good first start to try to regulate the collection of children’s information online, the law has not kept pace with rapidly developing technology and online tools. The last update to COPPA was in 2013, which is ancient history in the world of technology.

The Federal Trade Commission is proposing changes to COPPA that would strengthen restrictions on the use and disclosure of children’s personal information and would “further limit the ability of companies to condition access to services on monetizing children’s data. The proposal aims to shift the burden from parents to providers to ensure that digital services are safe and secure for children.”

For parents and guardians: although the FTC is working to protect children, we should too. Stay educated on how children’s privacy is affected by their online use, how their data is stored, used, and monetized, and educate children about how to protect themselves.

Photo of Linn Foster Freedman Linn Foster Freedman

Linn Freedman practices in data privacy and security law, cybersecurity, and complex litigation. She is a member of the Business Litigation Group and the Financial Services Cyber-Compliance Team, and chair’s the firm’s Data Privacy and Security Team. Linn focuses her practice on…

Linn Freedman practices in data privacy and security law, cybersecurity, and complex litigation. She is a member of the Business Litigation Group and the Financial Services Cyber-Compliance Team, and chair’s the firm’s Data Privacy and Security Team. Linn focuses her practice on compliance with all state and federal privacy and security laws and regulations. She counsels a range of public and private clients from industries such as construction, education, health care, insurance, manufacturing, real estate, utilities and critical infrastructure, marine and charitable organizations, on state and federal data privacy and security investigations, as well as emergency data breach response and mitigation. Linn is an Adjunct Professor of the Practice of Cybersecurity at Brown University and an Adjunct Professor of Law at Roger Williams University School of Law.  Prior to joining the firm, Linn served as assistant attorney general and deputy chief of the Civil Division of the Attorney General’s Office for the State of Rhode Island. She earned her J.D. from Loyola University School of Law and her B.A., with honors, in American Studies from Newcomb College of Tulane University. She is admitted to practice law in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Read her full rc.com bio here.