Submission Number: 561789-00050
Received: 9/24/2012 10:35:09 AM
Commenter: Steve DelBianco
State: District of Columbia
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Initiative: 16 CFR Part 312; Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule; Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking; Project No. P104503
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NetChoice welcomes this opportunity to comment on the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) Rule and its implementation by the Federal Trade Commission. In the attached, we explain how NetChoice believes that the present COPPA Rule generally serves the interests of children, parents, and online services. Our comments reflect concerns about how some of the proposed changes to the COPPA Rule would undermine online services now available to children.
NetChoice is an association of online services and e-commerce companies working to promote the integrity and availability of the global Internet. NetChoice is significantly engaged in privacy and safety issues in state capitals, Washington DC, and international Internet governance organizations.
We focus our response to the request for comments in the following areas through real-life and demonstrative examples of some of the unintended harms caused by the NPRM. We then include our recommended changes.
In the attached, we address the following issues:
1. Potentially thousands of sites and third-parties will now become subject to COPPA regulations and liability through an unauthorized expansion of “online service directed to children”
2. The FTC should not require parental consent when there is passive tracking of children without the collection of personal information
3. The FTC should clarify that contextual advertising is not limited to the immediate context
4. Personal information collected for internal operations may be needed for purposes other than those delineated by the FTC
5. A photo or video should be considered personal information only if it includes some other data that enables the contacting of a child
6. Do not include screen names, user names, or identifiers used to link a child’s activities across identified sites in the definition of personal information, since this could discourage parents from granting consent
7. “Prompting or encouraging” could force teen oriented websites to remove social networking functionality