Ryan Blaney and Brooke Gottlieb of Proskauer write:
On January 21, 2021, President Biden designated Federal Trade Commission (the “FTC”) Commissioner Rebecca Kelly Slaughter as acting chair of the FTC. Soon thereafter in one of her first speeches in her new role, Chairwoman Slaughter announced two substantive areas of priority for the FTC – the COVID-19 pandemic and racial equity.
The COVID-19 Pandemic
Chairwoman Slaughter noted that the FTC will play an important role in solving pandemic-induced privacy and security issues and identified two sub issues in particular that the FTC will pursue.
First, the pandemic has led to a surge in distance learning. The FTC has power to enforce privacy in the education technology (“ed tech”) space through authority conferred by the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”). COPPA generally requires commercial websites and online services, including mobile applications, aimed at children, or that have actual knowledge that they are collecting personal information from a child, to obtain parental consent before collecting or using personal information from children under the age of 13. In the educational context, schools can consent on behalf of parents to the collection of student’s personal information if the information is used only for a school-authorized educational purpose. To receive consent from the school, ed tech services must provide the school with notice of their data collection and use practices.
Read more on Privacy Law Blog.