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Sean D. Reyes
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AG Reyes, Coalition of 43 States, Urge FTC to Strengthen Online Privacy and Safety Protections for America’s Youth

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH – Attorney General Sean D. Reyes joined a bipartisan comment letter to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over its new rule under the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) urging the Commission to “update the COPPA Rule to keep pace and give State Attorneys General the tools they need to respond to a digital world rife with risk.” The letter, which was led by the States of Oregon, Illinois, Mississippi, and Tennessee, was sent by the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG).

The COPPA Rule, which was promulgated in 2000, “impos[es] certain requirements on operators of websites or online services directed to children under 13 years of age, and on operators of other websites or online services that have actual knowledge that they are collecting personal information online from a child under 13 years of age.” According to the letter from NAAG, “since the COPPA Rule became effective on April 21, 2000, State Attorneys General, on their own and in partnership with the Commission, have pursued actions for violations of the COPPA rule.”

Attorney General Reyes states, “Attorneys general across America are again overcoming partisan divides and focusing on what’s most important—protecting our children. These federal rules have become obsolete. The online landscape has evolved immensely since COPPA was established. Our children are facing a whole new world of challenges and threats. We implore the FTC to adapt accordingly and strengthen child protection online.”

“It is heartwarming, and even hopeful, that so many states attorneys general are focusing on the safety of children,” said Utah’s statewide coordinator for child and family safety, Missy Larsen. “The FTC is a powerful organization that can immediately make a difference with updated rules that align with current and real online threats.”

In their letter, the coalition of attorneys general makes several comments on the proposed rule revisions from the FTC, including the rule’s prohibition against conditioning a child’s participation on collection of personal information. They write that “as partners with the Commission in ensuring COPPA is enforced and children are protected, the States possess a unique and important perspective on how effective the COPPA Rule has been, the fundamental values and protections it upholds, and what improvements should be made.”

Joining Utah, Oregon, Illinois, Mississippi, and Tennessee on the letter were the States of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin; as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Virgin Islands.

Read the letter here.