Click here to view C-SPAN's coverage of the panel.
The Family Online Safety Institute hosted a FOSI Briefs the Hill event focused on children and online privacy, particularly relating to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).
The panel was moderated by Stephen Balkam, CEO of FOSI and featured Mark Eichorn from the Federal Trade Commission; John Falzone from the Entertainment Software Rating Board; Joseph Wender from the Office of Senator Edward J. Markey; and Jim Halpert from DLA Piper.
Mark Eichorn spoke as to why the Federal Trade Commission is seeking comment on the effectiveness of the current COPPA Rule and the process involved to amend the Rule, which includes a comment period, public workshop, and potentially a rule-making. Eichorn also spoke about the resources the FTC makes available to companies working to comply with COPPA.
John Falzone spoke about the ESRB Privacy Certified membership program. As a COPPA Safe Harbor organization, Privacy Certified helps members stay compliant with COPPA requirements. Falzone also spoke about the distinction between actual knowledge and constructive knowledge for operators of online services.
Joseph Wender spoke about Senator Markey’s three pieces of legislation that includes a bipartisan update to the current COPPA law, the Children and Media Research Advancement (CAMRA) Act, and the Kids Internet Design and Safety (KIDS) Act. Wender also spoke to Senator Markey’s reactions to the upcoming COPPA review and whether COPPA should be rewritten or modified.
Jim Halpert shared ways in which the world has changed since the original COPPA Rule was passed particularly in terms of verifiable parental consent and how the United States can model upcoming legislation using international trends. Halpert also discussed his concerns about constructive knowledge for operators and the streamlining of COPPA’s reach.
The panelists discussed constructive knowledge and the problem that operators face with general audience sites that aren’t intended for children, but are used by those under 13. Eichorn agreed that this is one of the most pressing issues of COPPA and its review.
The panel discussed mixed audience websites where children may be included in a secondary section of the web operator’s audience yet are not the primary audience, and how companies create separate experiences for children and older users through an age gating process.
The panelists concluded with thoughts about COPPA’s scope and how it would fit with potential federal privacy legislation in the United States.
As Global Policy Director Emma brings a global perspective and expertise to the broad spectrum of Internet privacy and safety issues. With particular focus on the United States, Europe, Oceania and parts of the Middle East she is able to interpret domestic actions and place them in an international context.
Emma is a qualified barrister in England & Wales and has been admitted to the New York Bar. She graduated from Norwich Law School in 2007 with a degree in Law with French Law & Language, as well as obtaining a diplôme Universitaire d'études juridiques françaises from the Université de Strasbourg. Emma completed the Bar Vocational Course at BPP Law school in 2008 before passing the New York bar in 2009. She has considerable experience gained from working for a large international law firm as well as from legal internships in both England and the United States.
Senior Policy Advisor
Senator Markey (D-MA)
Joseph Wender currently serves as Senator Markey’s Senior Policy Advisor and handles a wide range of issues including telecommunications and privacy. Mr. Wender previously served as then-Representative Markey’s Legislative Director. Prior to working for Markey, Mr. Wender served as Counsel for the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. He received his BA from Wesleyan University and graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School.
Partner in Communications, E-Commerce and Privacy
Jim Halpert is a partner in DLA Piper's Communications, Electronic Commerce and Privacy practice. He advises clients regarding compliance strategies for with transnational, federal and state privacy and security regulations, industry best practices and self-regulatory initiatives, and has represented clients in major privacy cases in the federal courts and before the Federal Trade Commission.
Mr. Halpert represents and counsels Fortune 500 and smaller companies on a broad range of privacy and data management issues, including data security, trans-national data flows, government regulation of marketing practices, health care privacy, privacy issues raised by recording or accessing private communications, privacy regulation of various communications media, employee data, student privacy, due diligence in sales of corporate assets, records management and government surveillance requests. For example, he counseled clients regarding responses to more than 150 data security breaches since 2005.
Representing a coalition of Fortune 500 companies, Mr. Halpert has helped to draft most of the US state data security and security breach notification laws, all of the state spyware laws and many of the recent state spam laws, as well as California’s online privacy law. He has also helped to draft many of the United States federal Internet privacy laws, including the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003, the USA Patriot Act of 2001, the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and Communications Decency Act.
He has litigated major privacy cases in federal courts, including Maine Newspaper Association v. Mills, Parker v. Time Warner Cable and Los Angeles Police Department v. United Reporting Co..
Mr. Halpert has been named by both Chambers & Partners and Legal 500 as one of the leading data protection lawyers in the US. Legal 500 writes that he is "renowned for his 'excellent judgment and awareness of the pressures a modern business faces,'" and "for being 'pro-active and impressively hands-on for such a well-respected lawyer.'" He served as the legal advisor for a report of l’Autorita per la Garanzie nelle Communicatione (the Italian communications regulator) to the Italian Parliament regarding revisions to Italy's Internet laws. He was a law clerk to the Honorable H. Lee Sarokin, a former US District Judge for the District of New Jersey.
Vice President, Privacy Certified
Entertainment Software Rating Board
John Falzone is a Vice President of the Entertainment Software Rating Board, where he manages the Privacy Certified program—a leading online privacy compliance and certification program, and FTC-approved COPPA Safe Harbor. Prior to joining the ESRB, John was an Assistant Attorney General in the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office, where, among other things, he managed the enforcement of state and federal consumer-protection and privacy laws, including COPPA, HIPPA/HITECH, and the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act. Before entering public service, John spent more than twelve years as a litigation and regulatory attorney at Latham & Watkins LLP and then Parker Ibrahim & Berg LLC.John is a Certified Information Privacy Professional/United States by the IAPP and a member of the IAPP’s Privacy Bar Section Advisory Board. He received his law degree from Seton Hall University School of Law, where he graduated with honors and served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Seton Hall Law Review. He received his undergraduate degree from Villanova University.
Federal Trade Commission
Mark Eichorn is an Assistant Director in the FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection’s Division of Privacy and Identity Protection (DPIP), where he supervises privacy and data security matters. He joined DPIP in 2009 from FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz’s office, where he served as an attorney advisor for Chairman (and previously Commissioner) Leibowitz on consumer protection issues. Upon joining the Commission in 1998, Mark worked for many years as an attorney in the Division of Advertising Practices and served a six-month stint in 2003 as an attorney advisor to FTC Commissioner Thomas Leary. Mark went to law school at the University of Virginia.
Founder & CEO
Family Online Safety Institute
For the past 30 years, Stephen Balkam has had a wide range of leadership roles in the nonprofit sector in both the US and UK. He is currently the Founder and CEO of the Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI), an international, nonprofit organization headquartered in Washington, DC. FOSI’s mission is to make the online world safer for kids and their families. FOSI convenes the top thinkers and practitioners in government, industry and the nonprofit sectors to collaborate and innovate and to create a “culture of responsibility” in the online world.
Prior to FOSI, Stephen was the Founder and CEO of the Internet Content Rating Association (ICRA) and led a team which developed the world’s leading content labeling system on the web. While with ICRA, Stephen served on the US Child Online Protection Commission (COPA) in 2000 and was named one of the Top 50 UK Movers and Shakers, Internet Magazine, 2001.
In 1994, Stephen was named the first Executive Director of the Recreational Software Advisory Council (RSAC) which created a unique self-labeling system for computer games and then, in 1996, Stephen launched RSACi – a forerunner to the ICRA website labeling system. For his efforts in online safety, Stephen was given the 1998 Carl Bertelsmann Prize in Gutersloh, Germany, for innovation and responsibility in the Information Society and was invited to the first and subsequent White House Internet Summits during the Clinton Administration.
Stephen’s other positions include the Executive Director of the National Stepfamily Association (UK); General Secretary of the Islington Voluntary Action Council; Executive Director of Camden Community Transport as well as management positions at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (London) and Inter-Action. Stephen’s first job was with Burroughs Machines (now Unisys) and he had a spell working for West Nally Ltd – a sports sponsorship PR company.
Stephen received a BA, magna cum laude, in Psychology from University College, Cardiff, Wales in 1977. A native of Washington, DC, Stephen spent many years in the UK and is now has dual citizenship. He writes regularly for the Huffington Post, appears often on TV and has appeared on nationally syndicated TV and radio programs such as MSNBC, CNN, NPR and the BBC and has been interviewed by leading newspapers such as the Washington Post, New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, radio and in the mainstream press. He has given presentations and spoken in 15 countries on 4 continents.