BBB National Programs Insights
Influencers, Kids, COPPA, and Compliance to Kickoff CARU 2020
On May 28, the 2020 CARU Conference officially kicked off with a keynote from the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Andrew Smith, Director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection. Andrew joined moderator Alice Cahn, Founder of Cahnworks and a legacy name in children’s media, for a virtual fireside chat about the changing landscape of child-directed content over the last few years.
During their conversation, no topics were off the table.
They discussed the rise of content creators and influencers, YouTube’s role in hosting and policing child-directed content, and other digital media platforms that have stirred up controversy and complexity.
“YouTube knew they were directed to kids and became a watershed for COPPA compliance,” said Andrew Smith. He also said that he “believes companies want to do the right thing” and that safe harbor programs, when working properly can help companies navigate COPPA requirements, which he acknowledged is a complicated law. “Most companies in this space are well meaning and interested in compliance. Where they fall down on the job is a lack of understanding of the scope and requirements of the law,” said Smith.
Our speakers spent a decent amount of time discussing COPPA – what it is, its complexity, and the changes that are currently being considered to this important legislation. When discussing potentially raising the age of what is considered a “child,” our speakers engaged in an honest, candid discussion about the complexity of thought behind this type of change. CARU’s vice president, Dona Fraser, said “There is no need to move the COPPA age beyond 12. Young children want to age up to be considered teenagers, so the true challenge we face is addressing the environment in which children of all ages are consuming media. Between television, YouTube, apps, and games we must look deeper at how they are viewing the content.”
At the end of the discussion, which included live Q&A from attendees, our speakers agreed that our goals are aligned. We want a world where parents and kids can have a safe space. Where we can provide a mobile device to a child with confidence while continuing to encourage the development of innovative, educational content for kids.
Watch the full session below and register for other sessions in the 2020 CARU Conference series at caruconference.org. The next session includes Google, Mother Goose Club, and Spark Foundry discussing the balance of managing a digital platform that markets content to kids. Don’t miss it.