FTC announces New Children’s Privacy Rules
(Best Syndication News) - The U.S. Federal Trade Commission announced the final amendments were made to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule. The new rules will help better protect the privacy of children under the age of 13 and let parents decide what personal information is collected on websites and online services.
These amendments were added to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) of 1998 to better address current technologies. Websites that are directed toward children under 13, or have knowledge that they are collecting information about minors, are required to follow the FTC COPPA rules.
The final amendments of the COPPA are several. Third parties will not be allowed to collect personal information on children unless parents are given notice and consent to the behavior. Personal information that must first get parental consent includes geolocation information, photographs, and videos. Companies will need to offer a streamlined, voluntary, and transparent approval process to get parents’ consent. Persistent identifiers that track IP addresses or mobile device IDs will not be part of the COPRA rule.
Website operators and online service providers must take reasonable steps when the release children’s personal information. They can only release the info to companies that are secured and confidential. Website operators need to implement a procedure that will retain information they collect and also to purge the information.
The new amendments address mobile phone apps and new tablet technology. It also clarifies that photos, videos, and audio recordings of children shared online must first gain parental approval.
Apple’s iTunes and Google Play will not be held accountable to these rules; however, the creator of an app directed towards children would be responsible for making sure parents give approval for their children to use their app if they collect private information.
By: Julie Marcus
Science and Technology Writer