NEWS25 March 2010

FTC considers updating rules protecting children’s online privacy

Government North America

US— The Federal Trade Commission is considering updating rules governing the online collection of children’s personal data in light of the growing popularity of mobile web access among young people.

But mobile is just the beginning – the FTC is also sounding out interested parties on whether interactive TV, gaming and other interactive media raise any implications for the enforcement of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), which has been in force since April 2000.

COPPA requires website operators to get parental consent before collecting, using or disclosing personal information from children under the age of 13.

In a notice published in the Federal Register, the FTC asks for opinions on whether the definition of ‘personal information’ needs to be expanded to include the likes of persistent IP addresses and mobile geolocation data.

The FTC also wants to find out whether there are additional technological methods to obtain verifiable parental consent that should be added to the COPPA rule, and whether any of the methods currently included should be removed.

Full details of the review can be found online here. Public comments are invited until 30 June.