Newer Stricter Online Privacy Rules for Children

By Carlos Olivera December 20, 2012

On Wednesday, federal regulators ruled to broaden the longstanding privacy rules covering children’s websites and mobile applications. The ruling, which expands on the Children’s Online Privacy protection Act of 1998, or Coppa, will give parents more control over the data that is collected about their children.

Coppa was introduced in 1998 and stated that if an operator of a website wanted to obtain any personal information from a child under the age of 13 - like first and last names, phone numbers, home addresses or e-mail addresses- the parents must be notified beforehand and consent to the release of the information.

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the updated rules are trying to keep pace with the growing use of mobile devices, like smartphones and tablets, by children, with the intent for parents to prevent unwanted contact from strangers.


Image via Shutterstock 

“The Commission takes seriously its mandate to protect children’s online privacy in this ever-changing technological landscape,” said FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz.  “I am confident that the amendments to the COPPA Rule strike the right balance between protecting innovation that will provide rich and engaging content for children, and ensuring that parents are informed and involved in their children’s online activities.”

With so many new applications for photo sharing and other apps asking to use your location, the FTC modified what constitutes personal information to include geolocation information, photographs, and videos.

The new rules also offers companies a more streamlined, voluntary and transparent approval process for getting parental consent, which also received a few modifications. The new methods for obtaining parental consent now include electronic scans of signed parental consent forms, use of government issued identification, video-conferencing, and alternative payment systems like debit cards and electronic payment systems. 

The confidentiality and security requirements were also updated stating that operators must retain the personal information for only as long as is necessary and must protect the information against unauthorized use or access during the disposal process.

The modified rules are a big step moving forward to not only safeguard a child’s personal information, but also gives parents more control over what online content their child is viewing.




Edited by Brooke Neuman

TechZone360 Content Producer

SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Related Articles

Boosting Productivity with a Healthy Software Stack

By: Special Guest    6/30/2016

If you haven't been monitoring the health of your software, it may be time for your stack to get a checkup.

Read More

Using Drones? Know the Rules

By: Special Guest    6/29/2016

Using a drone for your business, or as a hobby, means complying with requirements which are in constant flux or that you may not know about.

Read More

The Problems with Amazon's Dash Buttons

By: Rob Enderle    6/29/2016

The news this week is that Amazon is going to massively expand their Dash Button program, which hasn't sold well, to include more buttons. This increa…

Read More

6 Insurance Companies Investing in Wearable Technology

By: Lindsey Patterson    6/27/2016

Wearable fitness devices are growing in popularity, Tech research firm Gartner says that sales will grow by 18.4 percent this year. Over the past seve…

Read More

Facebook Closes 50 Million Dollar Deal for Live Streaming

By: Andrew Bindelglass    6/24/2016

Facebook seems like it is ready to launch a fledgling version of Facebook Live in the near future, Osofsky said. "We have an early beta programm for a…

Read More