What information are kids’ app developers collecting, who are they sharing it with, and what are they telling parents about their practices? The FTC staff first asked those questions in 2012. Fast forward three years, and how have things changed? According to the FTC’s Office of Technology Research and Investigation, the glass is both half-full and half-empty.
Blog Posts Tagged with Children's Privacy
We often get questions about how the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act applies in the school setting. The COPPA Rule gives parents control over what information “an operator of a Web site or online service” – yes, that includes apps – can collect from their kids under 13. Among other things, COPPA requires entities covered by the law to notify parents and get their approval before they collect, use, or disclose personal information from children.
The FTC adopted final amendments to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule on December 19, 2012, just over two years ago. The amendments strengthened kids’ privacy in several ways.
Some of the apps offered by China-based BabyBus teach kids the fundamentals of the alphabet. Correspondence just sent to BabyBus by the FTC staff focuses on five of those letters: C-O-P-P-A.
Fans of Tiny Pets, Tiny Zoo, Tiny Village, Tiny Monsters, and Mermaid Resort will be relieved to know that adorable Sully the Dog and arch-nemesis Duke Spendington haven’t been named in their individual capacities. But the developer of those kid-directed apps – San-Francisco-based TinyCo, Inc. – just settled an FTC lawsuit alleging the company violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) Rule.
This is a post about the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) Rule. Some readers already have a finger poised over the DELETE button since their business isn’t child-related. But as the FTC’s settlement with Yelp suggests, that would be a mistake.
If coping with COPPA is a part of your job, you’re familiar with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule’s safe harbor provision, a method for encouraging innovation and flexibility in the COPPA compliance process.
When we started posting the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule FAQs, we told you we’d update them periodically – and we’re doing our best to make good on that promise.
Ahab hunts big fish.
Captain and whaling boat sink.
Sometimes you want to read all 209,117 words of Moby Dick. Other times a haiku will do. Sometimes you want an in-depth analysis of the FTC’s enforcement, rulemaking, research, education, and international efforts related to privacy and data security. Other times a summary will suffice.
In a lot of schools, kids are more likely to be looking at screens than at blackboards. One advantage: fewer annoying chalk squeaks. Of course, the benefits of the connected classroom go far beyond that. But educators, administrators, and parents have been asking an important question: How do the protections of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and the accompanying FTC rule apply in the school setting?
We got an interesting suggestion recently. “With how fast technology changes, how about building in a process so companies can see if newer methods meet the requirements of existing rules?” A related recommendation: Crowdsourcing. “The FTC could publicize an idea and get feedback from people.” We’re fans of innovation, too, which is why the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule includes a procedure for companies to ask if methods of getting parental consent not listed in COPPA nonetheless meet the Rule’s standards. As for crowdsourcing, we call it a notice and request for public c
Rerun watchers will remember “Welcome Back, Kotter,” a schoolroom sitcom featuring a hummable theme by folk rocker John Sebastian and a cast of smart-alecky students. The character of Juan Epstein was famous for forging excuse notes and permission slips and claiming they were from his mother. What tipped off Mr. Kotter was that the letters always ended with “Signed, Juan Epstein’s Mother.” OK, it’s a stretch, but there’s a connection between that 70s sitcom and the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule.
If you’re the COPPA cop for your company or clients, you know that Complying with COPPA: Frequently Asked Questions (A Guide For Business And Parents And Small Entity Compliance Guide) – close friends call ‘em The FAQs – are an indispensable resource. When FTC staff revised the FAQs a few months ago to reflect changes to COPPA that took effect July 1, 2013, we promised to update them as questions arose. And we’re making good on that promise.
Who should be in the driver’s seat when it comes to the collection of personal information online from kids under 13? That’s easy: Parents. To keep up with technology, the FTC revised the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule last year. As a result, some companies that may not have given COPPA much thought in the past are covered as of today — the July 1st effective date of the revised Rule. To streamline your responsibilities, the FTC has a suite of compliance tools designed with business in mind.
Today’s Business Blog post is brought to you by the letters C-O-P-P-A. If your website or online service is covered by the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, you’re readying your business for the changes that go into effect on July 1, 2013. For the benefit of those looking for a compliance refresher, the FTC just sent out letters to more than 90 companies that may be affected by the revision to the Rule.
Have you marked your calendar for July 1, 2013? As the FTC announced in December 2012, that’s the date revisions to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule take effect. If COPPA compliance is on your “to do” list, you’ll want to stay in the know about two related developments.
A lot has been happening on the COPPA front. A few years ago, the FTC announced it was taking a fresh look at the Children's Online Privacy Protection Rule to make sure it was keeping up with the times. Hundreds attended a national workshop to offer their candid assessment of what could be done to improve the Rule. Then came more than 400 written comments from consumer groups, industry, educators, and parents. You suggested sensible steps to keep Moms and Dads in the driver's seat about the information companies collect from their kids online while also streamlining compliance for busin
Consumers have made it clear: They want to know what their apps are up to. And when it comes to apps for kids, italicize that, put it in ALL CAPS, and multiply by 10. That’s why the FTC has released a new way of letting parents know just what their kids’ apps may be doing. Savvy app developers will want to take a look, too.
In the few years it’s been up and running, Path has billed itself as a different kind of social network. According to a description of its "Values," "Path should be private by default. Forever. You should always be in control of your information and experience." It’s a lovely sentiment. Except that according to an FTC law enforcement action, it wasn’t private by default. It wasn’t private forever. Users weren’t in control of their information and experience. And let’s not forget the alleged violation of the Children’s Online Pr