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S&P Global quotes Michelle Cohen following Big Tech’s possible new violations of COPPA

User audio collection could raise liability risk over children’s privacy

By: Casey Egan

Michelle Cohen, member and chair of the privacy and data security practice at the law firm Ifrah Law PLLC, said the privacy claims from companies alone are not enough to eliminate all possible liability.

“A company can say anything they want … but, certainly the regulatory agency, whether it’s the FTC or perhaps a state AG, can certainly probe further to see what’s going on on the site and how they’re collecting information,” she said in an interview.

Cohen also notes that the FTC is actively considering changes to the law, which could cause companies to change current practices in order to be fully compliant in the future. Cohen believes the agency may seek to enforce the law “fairly broadly” against certain sites traditionally perceived to be targeted toward general audiences rather than just children. For example, the FTC and New York state settled with Google and its YouTube LLC unit for $170 million on Sept. 4 for violating COPPA after regulators said in a complaint that YouTube must comply with COPPA, despite claiming to be a general-audience site.

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