The Federal Trade Commission, which held a roundtable on children’s online privacy protections last year in Washington, D.C., is now seeking public comments on proposed amendments to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection (COPPA) Rule, ” which gives parents control over what personal information websites may collect from children under 13.” Written comments must be received on or before November 28, 2011.
The FTC proposes these amendments to ensure that the Rule continues to protect children’s privacy, as mandated by Congress, as online technologies evolve. The Commission proposes modifications to the Rule in five areas: definitions, including the definitions of “personal information” and “collection,” parental notice, parental consent mechanisms, confidentiality and security of children’s personal information, and the role of self-regulatory “safe harbor” programs. […]
The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) requires that operators of websites or online services directed to children under 13, or those that have actual knowledge that they are collecting personal information from children under 13, obtain verifiable consent from parents before collecting, using, or disclosing such information from children. The FTC’s Rule implementing the COPPA statute became effective in 2000.
The FTC previously reviewed the COPPA Rule in 2005 and retained it without change. In light of rapidly evolving technology and changes in the way children use and access the Internet, in 2010 the FTC initiated another review of the Rule on an accelerated schedule. On April 5, 2010, the FTC sought public comment on every aspect of the COPPA Rule, posing numerous questions for the public’s consideration. In addition, the FTC held a public roundtable and reviewed 70 comments received from industry representatives, advocacy groups, academics, technologists, and individual members of the public.
The proposed changes would affect the definition of “personal information,” parental notice, parental consent mechanisms, and more. Visit the FTC notice page for more on the proposed changes and how to submit public comments.