CAI’s Senior Counsel Ed Howard Quoted in San Francisco Chronicle: Children’s Online Privacy Bill (AB3212) Dead without a Hearing

Ed HowardEd Howard, Senior Counsel at Children's Advocacy Institute

SAN DIEGO (May 12, 2020) — University of San Diego (USD) School of Law's Children's Advocacy Institute's (CAI) Senior Counsel Ed Howard was quoted in The San Francisco Chronicle on the children’s online privacy bill that died without a hearing.

According to the article, AB 3212, by Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham, R-Templeton (San Luis Obispo County), with Wicks as co-author, would require an app or social media site to actually obtain parental permission before selling a minor’s personal information. As the Children’s Advocacy Institute wrote in a letter to the committee: “Imagine if parental permission slips, instead of asking a parent to sign, asked the child to sign saying, ‘I promise I asked my parents and they said it was OK.’”

Such a system is obviously not OK for most parents. Yet AB 3212 died without a hearing that would have given advocates a chance to make their case.

“During a crisis when children are online more than ever in history, even for their schooling, the Legislature’s only committee with the word ‘privacy’ in its name passed bills to protect restaurant owners and scooter drivers, and a bill opposed by over 40 groups and supported by Microsoft ... but would not grant even a hearing to a three-sentence bill (AB 3212) written by the committee with no opposition that would have offered our children privacy protection,” said Ed Howard, senior counsel for the Children’s Advocacy Institute.

“I speak for a living, and I just don’t know what to say,” he added. “It is just so, so sad.”

To read the full article by John Diaz click here.

About the Children’s Advocacy Institute

The Children's Advocacy Institute (CAI), founded at the nonprofit University of San Diego School of Law in 1989, is one of the nation's premiere academic, research, and advocacy organizations working to improve the lives of children and youth, with special emphasis on improving the child protection and foster care systems and enhancing resources that are available to youth aging out of foster care.

In its academic component, CAI trains law students and attorneys to be effective child advocates throughout their legal careers. Its Child Advocacy Clinic gives USD Law students three distinct clinical opportunities to advocate on behalf of children and youth, and its Dependency Counsel Training Program provides comprehensive training to licensed attorneys engaged in or contemplating Dependency Court practice.

CAI's research and advocacy component, conducted through its offices in San Diego, Sacramento, and Washington, D.C., seeks to leverage change for children and youth through impact litigation, regulatory and legislative advocacy, and public education. Active primarily at the federal and state levels, CAI's efforts are multi-faceted—comprehensively and successfully embracing all tools of public interest advocacy to improve the lives of children and youth. To support CAI’s work, please visit

About the University of San Diego School of Law

Each year, USD educates approximately 800 Juris Doctor and graduate law students from throughout the United States and around the world.  The law school is best known for its offerings in the areas of business and corporate law, constitutional law, intellectual property, international and comparative law, public interest law and taxation.

USD School of Law is one of the 84 law schools elected to the Order of the Coif, a national honor society for law school graduates.  The law school's faculty is a strong group of outstanding scholars and teachers with national and international reputations and currently ranks 36th nationally among U.S. law faculties in scholarly impact and 22nd nationally in past-year faculty downloads on the Social Sciences Research Network (SSRN). The school is accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools. Founded in 1954, the law school is part of the University of San Diego, a private, independent, Roman Catholic university chartered in 1949.


Katie Gonzalez
(619) 260-4806


Contact Us

View Directory

83° 61°

Visit Campus

5998 Alcalá Park
San Diego, CA 92110