• Google, Apple, Facebook, and Twitter, among others, have filed comments opposing the FTC’s further proposed modifications to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) Rule. Under the COPPA Rules, a company must, among other things, seek permission from parents before it collects data from users age 12 and under. The proposed modifications to the rules would expand COPPA’s requirements beyond just websites to include games, mobile apps, and other plug-ins like Facebook’s “like” button or Google’s “+1.” The companies argue, in addition to the more general free speech position, that the proposed modifications are unworkable, because they would make a company responsible every time a potentially under-aged user decides to “like,” tweet, or otherwise share information via a social media platform. Child advocacy groups, however, argue that these companies receive a substantial financial benefit from the data they collect and, as such, should have some responsibility for how the data is collected and used. All comments filed in response to the FTC’s proposed COPPA Rule modifications are available here.
  • The FTC will host a “Robocall Summit” on October 18, 2012, in Washington, DC. The purpose of the summit will be to examine issues surrounding illegal pre-recorded robocalls. It will also highlight industry innovations that could potentially be used to trace robocalls and prevent illegal robocallers from faking caller ID data. The Robocall Summit will be open to the public, and will include members of law enforcement, the telemarketing and telecommunications industry, consumer groups, as well as other stakeholders. More information about the FTC’s recent efforts related to robocall issues and the Robocall Summit is available here.