On September 15, 2011, the Federal Trade Commission disclosed that it is seeking comments on several modifications to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act in response to advances in online technology. The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and the FTC’s implementing rule requires that operators of commercial websites and online services directed to children under the age of 13 or general audience websites and online services that knowingly collect personal information from children under 13 to: (1) post comprehensive privacy policies on their sites; (2) notify parents about their information practices; and (3) obtain parental consent before collecting, using, or disclosing any personal information from children under the age of 13. The Commission’s last review of the rule without implementing changes occurred in 2005. However, technological changes in the way children use the Internet have perhaps necessitated another review of the rule. It is readily apparent that the FTC wants to ensure that COPPA is effective in helping parents protect their children online, while at the same time not unnecessarily burdening online businesses.” The commission’s proposed changes to the rule would cover five areas: (1) definitions; (2) the requirements in the parental notice; (3) parental consent; (4) confidentiality and security; and (5) the safe harbor provisions. The agency is also considering a new provision addressing data retention and deletion.
A detailed article I wrote about the issue is available here: WHAT FTC’S COPPA REVISIONS MEAN FOR ADVERTISERS, PUBS AND MOBILE DEVELOPERS.