Children's Online Privacy Protection Rule (COPPA Rule) came into effect in 2000. It requires certain websites and other online services that collect personal information from children under the age of 13 to provide notice to parents and obtain verifiable parental consent before collecting, using, or disclosing personal information from these children.
The Federal Trade Commission works to promote competition and protect and educate consumers. It seeks comments on all significant provisions and a wide range of issues related to the COPPA Rule and whether revisions to the Rule have more robust protections for children.
These include an expanded definition of children's personal information, including persistent identifiers such as cookies that track a child's activity online and geolocation information, photos, videos, and audio recordings. Furthermore, it includes notice, parental consent requirements, and control over the collection of personal information from children, exceptions to verifiable parental consent, and safe harbor provision.
Specific questions on which the FTC is seeking comment include:
- Has the Rule affected the availability of websites or online services directed to children?
- Does the Rule correctly articulate the factors to consider in determining whether a website or online service directed to children, or should additional factors be considered? For example, should the Rule be amended to better address websites and online services that may not include child-oriented activities traditionally, but have many child users?
- What are the implications for COPPA enforcement raised by technologies such as interactive television, interactive gaming, or other similar interactive media?
- Should the Commission consider a specific exception to parental consent for the use of education technology in schools?
- Should the Commission modify the Rule to encourage general audience platforms to identify and police child-directed content uploaded by third parties?
The FTC typically reviews its rules every ten years. To address the amendments' effectiveness, the agency made to the Children's Online Privacy Protection Rule (COPPA Rule) in 2013. It reinforced the need to re-examine the COPPA Rule, whether to retain or modify. In light of continued rapid changes in technology and the expanded use of education technology.
The FTC's amendments to the COPPA Rule in 2013 addressed changes in the way children use and access the Internet, including the increased use of mobile devices and social networking.
The FTC will also hold a public workshop on October 7, 2019, to examine the COPPA Rule.
FTC Chairman Joe Simons said that “In light of rapid technological changes that impact the online children's marketplace, we must ensure COPPA remains effective.”
“We're committed to strong COPPA enforcement and industry outreach and a COPPA business hotline to foster a high level of COPPA compliance. But we also need to revisit regularly and, if warranted, update the Rule.”
Comments on the Commission's review of the COPPA Rule will be welcomed for 90 days after the notice is published in the Federal Register. Instructions on how to submit comments will be included in the Federal Register notice.
The Commission vote to submit the notice to the Federal Register for publication was 5-0.
Source Press Release FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION Date: July 25, 2019 Juliana Gruenwald Henderson Office of Public Affairs 202-326-2924