Toy Association Addresses Outdated Aspects of COPPA During FTC Workshop

Save the Date: Members-Only Oct. 31 Webinar to Delve into Potential COPPA Updates

ftc-coppa-review-workshop-2019October 8, 2019 | The Toy Association participated in a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) workshop on October 7 to deliver testimony regarding potential updates to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). The FTC, Congress, and the administration are reviewing COPPA to determine whether the law needs to be revised to better address current technology and children’s activity online. An October 31 webinar for Toy Association members presented by Sheila Millar, outside counsel to The Toy Association and partner at Keller & Heckman LLP, will provide further information on the topic. Millar testified on behalf of The Toy Association during the FTC workshop.

"Toy Association members believe in putting into practice privacy, security, and product safety by design, and support strong and effective privacy and security standards to protect consumers," said Ed Desmond, executive vice president of external affairs at The Toy Association. "COPPA has generally withstood the test of time, however, we have provided FTC with some suggestions on how to strengthen the rule and insights into how the rule impacts the toy community."

Some of the topics raised in The Toy Association’s testimony included:

  • Key definitions and implications
  • COPPA’s online notice and direct notice to parent obligations
  • Parental consent methods
  • Activities exempt from parental consent
  • Confidentiality, security, and integrity requirements
  • Safe harbor programs
  • Costs and benefits and impacts on small businesses

The Toy Association will follow up on the workshop by submitting written comments to the FTC that fully outline industry priorities concerning COPPA and include valuable input from the Association’s Children’s Online Safety Committee.

Additional information will be shared in the upcoming Toy Association webinar, “COPPA Revisited: An Update on the Government’s Reexamination of COPPA,” to be held Thursday, October 31 from 2 to 3 p.m. (Eastern). The webinar is free and exclusive to Toy Association members.

"The toy industry has championed the goals and objectives of COPPA since its enactment in 1998 and has actively contributed to prior FTC rulemakings with a view to offering practice insights on application of the rule and proposed rule changes," Desmond added. "Through its definitions, exceptions, and ‘sliding scale’ approach to parental consent, we commend Congress and the FTC for striving to strike a careful balance between protecting children’s privacy and authorizing legitimate business operations."

Working with its Children’s Online Safety Committee, The Toy Association has over the years developed a variety of COPPA compliance tools and training materials for its members. Before the FTC publicly indicated that COPPA applied to connected toys and other connected children’s product, The Toy Association provided compliance guidance to its members advising that child-directed connected toys were subject to COPPA. Resources and additional information can be found in the “Marketing to Children” section at