FTC Proposes Changes To Rule To Strengthen Children's Online Privacy

The Federal Trade Commission has unveiled certain proposals for changes to strengthen children’s online privacy rules to further limit Company’s ability to monetize children’s data.

To create digital safeguards for children, the proposed update to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule or COPPA Rule would change the ways the personal information of children under 13 is being collected, used, and disclosed.

According to the agency, the changes would require targeted advertising to children to be off by default, as well as to limit push notifications directed at kids, restrict surveillance in schools, and strengthen data security. With the proposed changes, the burden of making digital services safe and secure for children will be shifted to providers from parents.

It would place new restrictions on the use and disclosure of children’s personal information, further limiting the ability of companies to condition access to services on monetizing children’s data.

In a notice of proposed rulemaking, the FTC is seeking comment from public on proposed changes to the COPPA Rule, which first went into effect in 2000. The public will have 60 days to submit a comment after the notice is published in the Federal Register.

The rule requires certain websites and other online services that would collect personal information from children under the age of 13 to provide notice to parents. They need to obtain verifiable parental consent before collecting, using, or disclosing personal information from these children.

The rule also limits the personal data that websites and other online services can collect from children, limits how long they can retain such data, and requires them to secure the data.

FTC Chair Lina Khan said, “Kids must be able to play and learn online without being endlessly tracked by companies looking to hoard and monetize their data. The proposed changes to COPPA are much-needed, especially in an era where online tools are essential for navigating daily life—and where firms are deploying increasingly sophisticated digital tools to surveil children. By requiring firms to better safeguard kids’ data, our proposal places affirmative obligations on service providers and prohibits them from outsourcing their responsibilities to parents.”

When the FTC initiated the latest review of the COPPA Rule in 2019, it received more than 175,000 public comments on whether changes were needed to the rule.

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