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As expected, Congress’ renewed focus on expanding protections for minors online has resulted in legislative developments that attempt to mitigate harms while adhering to the Constitution’s free speech and preemption parameters. Last month, updates to both the Kids Online Safety Act (KOSA) and the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) 2.0 bills were released with increased support from Congressional members, but scrutiny of their legality and scope abounds.

In our article Children’s Online Privacy: KOSA and COPPA Updates, we provide information on the latest modifications made to KOSA, which now includes a reasonable care standard and less enforcement power afforded to State Attorneys General, among other things. We also explain how COPPA 2.0 expands upon existing protections for minors online by covering all minors under the age of 17 and including platforms that are “reasonably likely” to be used by minors under its umbrella.

We then explain how these proposed bills include similar infirmities to recent state legislation that has been met with judicial pushback. The California Age-Appropriate Design Code Act (CAADCA) was found to be likely violative of the First Amendment and is currently awaiting further judicial review, and state social media laws in Florida and Texas were appealed all the way to the Supreme Court on claims that they were violative of social media companies’ First Amendment rights.

The bottom line is that the courts will have just as much influence establishing legal parameters for the protection of kids and teens in the online ecosystem as state legislatures, Congress, and federal agencies.

To access Children’s Online Privacy: KOSA and COPPA Updates, click here.

To access the compendium 2023 U.S. Advertising and Privacy Trends and 2024 Forecast: Focus on Kids and Teens, click here.