Key Points

  • There's a big update to the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) on the horizon. It's called COPPA 2.0.
  • Among many possibilities, the provisions of COPPA 2.0 could increase the data collection age limit, require more stringent parental and even teenager consent, or even forbid targeted marketing of children altogether.
  • In most of its proposed forms, COPPA 2.0 poses serious threats to online advertising and content creators who reach children and teens. Now is the time to prepare for the impending changes.

Do you ever feel like you just can't get enough of COPPA? You're in luck - COPPA 2.0 is on the horizon.

Jokes aside, a big, impactful update to COPPA legislation and rules has been proposed and has been under discussion for a while now. It's not here yet, but it's probably coming. And when it does, it will pose serious threats to online advertising in the children's and teens' verticals.

Read on to learn everything you need to know about the arrival of COPPA 2.0.


You don't have to live and die by the next big decision the government makes about digital advertising. You can prepare for any pivot and protect your revenue by partnering with Playwire. We've built a COPPA-compliant platform that can make sure you're ready for anything. Contact us to learn more.

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Children's Online Privacy Protection Act: Guidelines for Advertising According to COPPA Laws

COPPA 2.0 on the Horizon

Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) got the ball rolling on COPPA 2.0 by introducing an update to the 1998 law in 2019. Their stated purpose in updating the law was to "update children's online privacy rules for the 21st century."

While that bill was bipartisan, it wasn't immediately accepted. Since that day three years ago, many high-level officials and big tech thinkers have been having conversations about what COPPA 2.0 might or should look like.

By and large, they haven't been discussing whether the law should be updated in the first place. The discussion has been about what the next update will include as if a change is inevitable.

This won't be the first time COPPA has been updated, either, and that's probably why politicians and regulators feel so comfortable discussing monumental changes to this law that can already restrict publishers' ability to run their businesses.

What Will COPPA 2.0 Mean for Children?

Here's the thing to remember: COPPA 2.0 is not law yet. No one can be completely certain it ever will be, although it looks more and more likely with each passing day. And no one can be certain of what the law will say or change. 

However, we can take into account some of the proposals surrounding this change in the law. The central proposal involves raising the age of children protected under COPPA from 13 to 15 or even all the way to 18. 

COPPA_KidsClubBut that's not the only change that has been discussed. Here are some of the others:

Privacy Dashboards

Connected devices could require a so-called "privacy dashboard" to be included on their packaging to explain the devices' data collection practices.

Forbidden Targeted Marketing

One possible scenario for COPPA 2.0 is the absolute prohibition of targeted ads to children under 13. As it currently stands, COPPA allows the collection of personal information involving children as long as parents have given their consent.

Teen Consent for Data Collection

COPPA 2.0 could also include language calling for a consent requirement in which teens have to consent to have their personal information collected at all online.

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COPPA Resource Center

The Complete COPPA Resource Center

Verifiable Parental Consent

Another possibility is the expansion of the requirements for obtaining legitimate consent from parents to collect data from children. Requiring "verifiable" parental consent would likely mean obtaining consent to collect valuable targeting data would be much harder.

The Problems COPPA 2.0 Could Create

So, what's the problem with 2.0? Besides further constricting children's publishers who are just trying to make a living, COPPA 2.0 could create these additional problems:

Content Creators Lose Their Revenue Source Overnight

Content creators whose content reaches teens have not had to comply with COPPA rule up to this point. But if COPPA 2.0 suddenly groups them in with COPPA publishers, they may lose their key source of revenue overnight.

Privacy for Kids and Teens Improves Very Little

Meanwhile, the proposals outlined for COPPA 2.0 appear to do very little to actually increase personal data privacy for children and teens. In fact, requiring "verifiable" consent from both parents and kids in order to collect data could actually reduce privacy protections because the personal information required for the consent to be "verifiable" could be highly personal and identifying.

Moving Forward: How to Stay Compliant Under Threat of COPPA 2.0

You don't have to be in this industry long to understand that the question about COPPA 2.0 has quickly shifted from "if" to "when." It's coming - we don't know exactly when or what all it will entail - but if the proposed action items are any indicator, it's not going to be publishers' favorite law ever passed.

So, how do you move forward with your digital advertising strategy when you know the next COPPA could drop any day now? By providing your web properties with the broadest possible protection.

What does that broad data protection look like? It looks like the platform Playwire has built. It's human-led and assures you remain within COPPA compliance. It can do programmatic advertising. It can and will grow your revenue.

We study this stuff, and we're prepared. We're going to keep pushing for publishers' best interests, and if COPPA 2.0 poses threats to your revenue, we're going to find ways to keep it safe.

Ready to work with the team that can help you weather the COPPA 2.0 storm? Reach out to Playwire today.

COPPA Compliance Training for Publishers