On November 13, 2013, the Federal Trade Commission announced that it denied a proposal submitted by AssertID, Inc. for a mechanism to obtain verifiable parental consent in accordance with the new Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule (the “COPPA Rule”) that came into effect July 1, 2013.
The COPPA Rule requires operators of certain websites and online services to obtain a parent’s consent before collecting personal information online from a child under the age of 13. In addition to the acceptable methods for obtaining the required parental consent listed in the COPPA Rule, the FTC’s revisions also allow entities to propose their own parental consent mechanisms for approval by the Commission. On August 15, 2013, the FTC announced that it had received a proposal from AssertID and invited public comment on the proposed mechanism.
In its letter to AssertID, the FTC stated that AssertID had “failed to provide sufficient evidence” that its proposal would ensure that the person providing consent is the child’s parent. Specifically, the FTC cited a lack of “relevant research” and “marketplace evidence” demonstrating that AssertID’s mechanism is “reasonably calculated to ensure” that the individual providing consent is the child’s parent. In addition, the FTC stated that AssertID provided insufficient evidence that its mechanism would function in the open marketplace.