Aug. 22, 2019
FOSI Briefs the Hill on Kids and Online Privacy



Aug. 22, 2019

2:30 p.m. - 3:45 p.m.


Cannon House Office Building Room 121

27 Independence Ave SE, Washington, DC 20003

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.


Day 1
Aug. 22, 2019
  1. 2:30 p.m.

    Ice cream sandwiches and coffee available

  2. 2:45 p.m.
    Panel Discussion

    • Stephen Balkam - Moderator, FOSI
    • Mark Eichorn - Federal Trade Commission
    • John Falzone - Entertainment Software Rating Board
    • Jim Halpert - DLA Piper
    • Joseph Wender -Office of Senator Edward J. Markey

  3. 3:45 p.m.


Founder & CEO, Family Online Safety Institute
Assistant Director, Federal Trade Commission
Vice President, Privacy Certified, Entertainment Software Rating Board
Partner in Communications, E-Commerce and Privacy, DLA Piper
Global Policy Director, Family Online Safety Institute
Senior Policy Advisor, Senator Markey (D-MA)