Senators Reintroduce Bill To Amend COPPA

Husch Blackwell LLP

Keypoint: Bill would add right to deletion to COPPA.

Senators introduced the “Clean Slate for Kids Online Act of 2021” in the United States Senate last week. The bill seeks to amend the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”).

The bill provides individuals with the right to delete personal information the operator collected from the individual as a child. The right to delete applies even in instances where parental consent was provided for the collection of the personal information.

The bill requires operators to provide notice in a prominent place on their website demonstrating how individuals can exercise their right to request deletion of personal information. The bill makes it unlawful for operators of a website or online service directed to children, or any operator that has actual knowledge that it is collecting personal information from a child, to fail to delete personal information if an individual submits a request to delete. Following a request to delete operators must promptly delete all personal information in their possession and provide the individual with written confirmation of the deletion.

The bill provides limited exceptions to the deletion requirement. An operator must not comply with the deletion request (i) if the personal information is necessary to respond to a judicial process or to the extent it is permitted under law in order to provide information to law enforcement agencies or for an investigation; and (ii) if the operator retains the personal information only for as long as reasonably necessary to fulfill the purpose for which the personal information was excepted and the information is not used, disseminated, or maintained in a form that is retrievable.

Senators previously introduced the “Clean Slate for Kids Online Act” in 2018 and 2019 without success. The new bill was referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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