Statement on Latest Version of Federal Online Data Privacy Protection Legislation

Common Sense Media
Tuesday, July 19, 2022

SAN FRANCISCO, July 19, 2022– The House Energy and Commerce Committee in Congress released today its latest version of bi-partisan comprehensive federal privacy legislation, a bill to establish for the first time national online data privacy and security protections. The Committee plans to vote on this bill tomorrow, July 20th. Common Sense, a leader on the issue of kids' and teens' online health and safety, has been working to strengthen the bill's data protections for children and teens. Jim Steyer, founder and CEO, issued the following statement on this phase of the process regarding the American Data Privacy and Protection Act (ADPPA).

"Common Sense has been deeply involved in working to ensure that H.R. 8152, or ADPPA, provides the strongest possible safeguards for the online data of kids and teens. Establishing strong data privacy protections is a critical step toward making today's internet healthier and safer for young users. Last month, we testified before Congress about a draft of this bill and the long overdue need to protect our children from online harms.

"Since the bill's introduction in June, we've seen the kids' data protections become stronger. For example, under the new version of the bill, large social media platforms, like the ones that have been at the center of attention for the past few years because of online harms to kids and teens, would be prohibited from using the data they have about their users to send targeted ads to kids under the age of 17. That is a big win. Moreover, those platforms would be prohibited from sharing data that they collect about kids under 17 without express opt-in permission from their parents or guardians. Another big win. And ADPPA, which covers minors under 17, protects significantly more kids than California law and federal law, which covers only minors under 16 and 13, respectively. Yet, another win for kids. And overall, the bill reduces the amount of data that all companies are allowed to collect and share by imposing strong data minimization requirements and express opt-in requirements, a top priority of ours for many years.

"Importantly, the kids' protections in the bill released today are stronger than current federal law, stronger than California law, and stronger than when the bill was first introduced. There is still a long road ahead for this issue, and this bill is not perfect; it is a compromise and it can and should be made even stronger. And there are other issues related to this bill that need to be resolved, such as ensuring proper budget and staff to enforce the law. But when it comes to kids' data protections, the latest version of this bill would be an important step toward a healthier and safer internet for kids and families."


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