FTC Mulls Changes to Child Online Protection Act

In order to keep its Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) in line with advances in technology, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is seeking comments from the public on whether updates to the law are necessary or not.

COPPA focuses on how website operators or online services deal with the personal information of kids younger than 13. Currently, it requires that third-parties must notify and receive permission from parents before “collecting, using, or disclosing” such info. Additionally, it requires that the information be kept secure and limits operators from collecting “any more personal information than is reasonably necessary.”

One specific area that the FTC is seeking public comment on is:

What implications for COPPA enforcement are raised by mobile communications, interactive television, interactive gaming, or other similar interactive media.

The 90-day commenting period ends on June 30, 2010.

The FTC previously conducted a congressionally mandated review of COPPA in 2005, but it was decided that no changes were needed at the time. COPPA came into effect on April 21, 2000.

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