The Federal Trade Commission announced that it is seeking public comment on the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 2000 (COPPA) in light of the agency’s plans to update the Act because of technological advances.
COPPA, which took effect in 2000, prohibits Web sites from collecting or disseminating personal data about children under 13 without their parents’ permission.
But due to “changes to the online environment . . . including children’s increasing use of mobile technology to access the Internet,” the FTC said it is now considering updating the regulations.
Specifically, the FTC is seeking public comment on how the law should apply to new platforms, such as mobile, interactive TV, and interactive gaming, as well as the use of automated systems that filter out any personally identifiable information before posting in order to review children’s online submissions.
The agency is also seeking comment on whether new technology exists to obtain verifiable parental consent that could be added to the regulations or whether the current methods should be removed.
In addition, the FTC is considering expanding the definition of “personal information” to include persistent IP addresses, mobile geolocation data, or information collected in connection with behavioral advertising.
A public roundtable will be held June 2, 2010, and the 90-day comment period will end June 30, 2010.
Why it matters: The expansion of the definition of “personal information” could place additional burdens on advertisers that utilize commercial sites geared toward children. The FTC has expressed interest in enhancing the transparency of behavioral advertising, and companies should be aware of the potential for new regulations under COPPA.