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Hearing Discusses Proposed COPPA Changes

PRIVACY LAW—U.S.

October 5, 2011

The Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade held a hearing on the FTC's proposed amendments to its Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) rule today. The changes include updating the definition of personal information to include geolocation and identifiers such as online cookies and revising parental consent requirements. Six witnesses testified at the "Protecting Children's Privacy in an Electronic World" hearing, including privacy expert Hemanshu Nigam, who commended COPPA's role in providing clear parameters for businesses since its inception in 1998 but warned against changes to it that could adversely affect the online marketplace. Subcommittee Chairwoman Mary Bono Mack (R-CA) stressed the importance of parental involvement, urging parents to make kids more aware of their own online privacy, and Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) said, "It is possible to provide legislation without killing innovation on the Internet." A public comment period on the COPPA rule ends November 28. Editor's Note: The IAPP will host the Web conference, COPPA Review--Fall 2011, on Thursday, October 27, at 1 p.m. EDT.
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