House lawmakers have introduced new legislation that attempts to modernize the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). Dubbed the "Preventing Real Online Threats Endangering Children Today," or PROTECT Kids act for short, Representatives Tim Walberg (R-MI) and Bobby Rush (D-IL) sponsored the bipartisan bill.
If Congress enacts the bill, online services, websites and apps will need to give parents the ability to delete any personal information related to their children. That's a power that COPPA, in its current form, doesn't provide parents. The legislation also aims to raise the age at which companies can collect data from an individual without parental consent from 13 to 16, in addition to broadening COPPA's protections to include mobile apps, as well as geolocation and biometric data. When it comes to sites such as Facebook, this means kids won't be able to create an account until they're 16 or older.
Uh-oh! COPPA and the FTC have already damaged YouTube's reputation as being for the over-13's. If the PROTECT Kids Act is enabled, it will remove and/or privatize videos for people from 13-15, and eventually pull the plug on YouTube when it removes all the videos except for those 16 or 18 and older! We don't want that to happen!