CCFC Re-brands As Big Tech-Targeted 'Fairplay'

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(Image credit: Andrew Brookes via Getty Images)

The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC) has rebranded as Fairplay, coinciding with a new campaign seeking regulations mandating an age-appropriate platform designed to better protect kids online.

Launched to battle the over-commercialization of children's media, the former CCFC has updated the name to match its evolution into a digital age defender of children on a host of tech fronts.

“In the more than 20 years we have advocated for children, childhood has been transformed by smartphones, tablets, and an overwhelming array of apps and games designed to hook kids, monopolize their attention, and mine their personal information for profit,” said Angela Campbell, professor emeritus, Georgetown Law, and chair of Fairplay's board of directors. “While our advocacy has evolved to match the digital techniques used by corporate marketers, our name hasn’t. As Fairplay, we will demand a new set of rules to protect children from the unfair and harmful manipulations of Big Tech.”

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Fairplay's new campaign (opens in new tab), supported by a coalition of children's advocates, is looking to institute regs similar to the United Kingdom's Age Appropriate Design Code, among whose core tenets, says Fairplay, is that "the best interests of young people must be the primary consideration when designing online services likely to be accessed by children and teens, and that young people’s data should never be used in ways that is detrimental to their wellbeing."

Taking a page from that UK code, which goes into effect in September, Fairplay will focus its efforts on "advocating for regulations against manipulative platform design that puts children at risk," as well as an update to COPPA, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act.

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The coalition say a U.S. version of the code can be achieved through a combination of new laws and Federal Trade Commission rulemakings. The FTC has traditionally been an enforcement agency rather than a rulemaking body, but children's advocates have long advocated for the FTC to flex more of its rulemaking muscle.

Joining in the new campaign, according to Fairplay, are the American Academy of Pediatrics, Center for Digital Democracy, Center for Humane Technology, Common Sense, ParentsTogether, RAINN (Rape Abuse and Incest National Network), and the producers of the film The Social Dilemma (opens in new tab).

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.