Skip to Content

Press Release

U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor Leads Introduction of Landmark Data Privacy Legislation

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor released the following statement upon introduction of a series of bills to strengthen Americans’ data and privacy online:

“Online apps and tech companies are exploiting our kids and causing harm, so it is urgent that the Congress pass a data privacy law that protects the personal privacy of Americans, especially our children and teens.  For many years, I've called out the manipulative and dark practices of Big Tech platforms. I've sounded the alarm about how incessant surveillance and tracking harms young people and how Big Tech platforms use manipulative design to addict kids to their products and repeatedly expose young people to harmful content.

“That is why I have introduced the bipartisan Children and Teens’ Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA 2.0) to update youth privacy protections online. COPPA 2.0 builds upon current law to strengthen protections related to the online collection, use and disclosure of personal information of children and minors up to age 16. This bill will address the excessive collection and surveillance of youth, ban harmful targeted advertising and prompt Big Tech platforms to provide young people and parents with the tools needed to navigate the online world.

“Addressing youth data privacy is critical, but more action is needed to counter the unscrupulous ways tech platforms addict children and steal their attention. That’s why I am championing the bipartisan Kids Online Safety Act (KOSA) to provide young people and parents with the tools, safeguards, and transparency needed to keep children and teenagers safe online and hold Big Tech companies accountable. KOSA outlaws online practices such as manipulative marketing, amplification of harmful content, and damaging design features that threaten young people online.

COPPA 2.0 and KOSA will give young people a chance to avoid dangerous online content and situations that have imperiled their lives and privacy. Too many children have died by suicide after being fed repeated pro-suicide online content. Others have been cyberbullied, hurt by dangerous viral challenges or have overdosed on fentanyl-laced drugs purchased on social media.  Research has made it clear that our increasingly online world is unsafe for children, with popular apps pushing kids to spend unhealthy amounts of time on their devices and negatively affecting the mental health of teens. It’s past time to take action. The incessant surveillance of children and teens must end, and Congress must institute safeguards to address addictive design features and require transparency of algorithms. 

“I am encouraged that leaders in Congress are taking action with the release of the bicameral, bipartisan American Privacy Rights Act discussion draft to address comprehensive data privacy reform. The proposed text minimizes the data that companies can collect and use, provides stronger protections for sensitive data and allows Americans to access or delete their data. For too long, Big Tech companies and data brokers have operated with few checks, constantly surveilling and aggregating our personal and private information for profit.  I look forward to working to ensure that we prioritize and maximize protections for our nation’s youth in any comprehensive privacy legislation.

“It is time that the Congress steps up and helps Americans take back control of their own personal, private information- especially that of our kids.”

H.R. 7890, the Children and Teens Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) 2.0, was introduced by Representative Kathy Castor (D-FL) and Representative Tim Walberg (R-MI). Companion legislation was introduced in the U.S. Senate by Sens. Ed Markey (D-MA) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and marked up in the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.

H.R.7891, the Kids Online Safety Act (KOSA), was introduced by Representative Kathy Castor (D-FL) and Representatives Gus Biliarakis (R-FL), Erin Houchin (R-IN) and Kim Schrier (D-WA). Companion legislation was introduced in the U.S. Senate by Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and was marked up in the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.