No – nobody is really suggesting a block on kids. But the FTC is taking a fresh look at the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule and we couldn’t resist the title’s reference to 90s tweens’ favorite boy band, now parents themselves. For years we’ve been “Hangin’ Tough” about the need to protect kids’ personal information online, but it’s time for a “Step By Step” review of the COPPA Rule.
In place since 2000 and revised in 2013, the COPPA Rule requires certain sites and online services that collect personal information from kids under 13 to provide notice to parents and get verifiable parental consent. But time and technology change – Daddy, what is this thing Section 312.5(b)(1) calls a “facsimile”? – so it’s important that the Rule reflect the current state of play.
The FTC is asking for your feedback on all things COPPA – including whether the Rule should be retained or modified; how the definitions, notice and consent requirements, and safe harbor provision are holding up; and the impact of the 2013 revisions. In addition, we’ve posed some specific questions:
- Has the Rule affected the availability of websites or online services directed to children?
- Does the Rule correctly articulate the factors to consider in determining whether a site or online service is directed to kids, or should additional factors be considered? For example, should the Rule be amended to better address sites and services that may not include traditionally child-oriented activities, but have large numbers of users under 13?
- Do technologies like interactive TV, interactive gaming, etc., have specific implications under COPPA?
- Should there be an exception to the parental consent requirement for education technology in schools?
- Should the Rule be modified to encourage general audience platforms to police child-directed content uploaded by third parties?
Once the Notice runs in the Federal Register, you’ll have 90 days to file a public comment.
As part of putting COPPA under the regulatory microscope, we’re also announcing The Future of the COPPA Rule: An FTC Workshop, scheduled for October 7, 2019. Mark your calendar and watch for updates on the event. Interested in participating as a panelist or have suggestions about agenda topics? Email us at COPPAWorkshop@ftc.gov by August 19, 2019.
The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.
We don't edit comments to remove objectionable content, so please ensure that your comment contains none of the above. The comments posted on this blog become part of the public domain. To protect your privacy and the privacy of other people, please do not include personal information. Opinions in comments that appear in this blog belong to the individuals who expressed them. They do not belong to or represent views of the Federal Trade Commission.
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The comments you put here on the Business Blog do not go on the public record. If you want to make a comment on the public record, you have until December 9, 2019. Read about the COPPA Rule. Submit a Comment to the public record here.