The Interactive Advertising Bureau recently urged the Federal Trade Commission to extend the date for compliance with the amended Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act Rule, citing the complicated changes at issue.
On July 1, changes to the FTC’s COPPA Rule are set to take effect. They include the expanded definitions of key terms like “personal information” and “operator,” as well as the creation of new mechanisms for obtaining verifiable parental consent and a requirement for operators to adopt reasonable procedures for data retention and deletion.
But the changes – the first to the Rule in over a decade – are too much for some companies to handle in the time period allotted, the IAB said in a letter to the FTC. In particular, the definition of “personal information” now encompasses persistent identifiers (like mobile device IDs and IP addresses), geolocation data and photos, videos, and audio files that contain a child’s image or voice.
The broadened definition brings companies that were not previously covered within the scope of the COPPA Rule, the IAB wrote, and they “need time to update their software and business models, which may have been planned well in advance of the release of the updated COPPA Rule.”
The IAB requested an additional six months for companies to achieve compliance, with a new effective date of Jan. 1, 2014.
A similar delay was sought by the Application Developers Alliance, an organization that represents 20,000 individual developer members and more than 100 corporate members. They maintained that “the rule changes are so significant and the penalties so severe that, absent delay, many developers and publishers will simply stop publishing, placing their entire business at risk.”
ADA President Jon Potter said the changes “create significant new obligations for app developers and their partners that are still not well understood.” The necessary modifications to apps and user interfaces require time and money, and “app developers are justifiably concerned about investing those resources absent certainty about their changed responsibilities.”
To read the ADA’s letter to the FTC, click here.
Why it matters: The COPPA Rule changes came about after a lengthy public comment period that began in April 2010. The FTC has not responded to the requests for a delay in implementation of the new Rule, although the FTC recently released guidance on the forthcoming changes in the form of “FAQs.”