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January 3rd, 2013
Get Ready for a New Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act Rules
Definitions. The definition of personal information previously included email address, physical address, and phone number. The FTC expanded this definition in the update to include photos, videos, images, voice, and geolocation information.
The FTC also expanded the definition of personal information to include any unique identifying marker used to track users within a website or across websites including any behavioral advertising markers. The update did note that these do not include markers for a website's internal operations, including contextual advertising, frequency capping, and legal compliance.
In the most controversial part of the expansion, FTC expanded the definition of parties covered by COPPA to include advertising networks and third-party plugins that collect children's personal information from kid directed websites and applications. However, the expanded coverage won't include platforms that merely make children's applications available.
FTC expanded the definition of parental consent mechanisms to include video conferencing, scanned signatures of parental consent forms, and charges on certain electronic payment mechanisms such as debit cards.
The consent mechanism known as "email-plus" remains a viable option for parental consent for internal use of a child's personal information. Email plus is usually an email to a parent that requires a parent to reply for consent, followed by an email or letter several days later. In an effort to create a flexible rule that updates with technology, there is also a 120 day notice and comment period where the FTC is encouraging businesses to create additional mechanisms to provide confirmed parental consent.
The COPPA update also contains a data security requirement: companies should not keep any children''s information longer than necessary. In addition, covered entities are also required to use reasonable security measures to prevent any data breach associated with a child''s information.
The updated COPPA rules also provide an audit mechanism for COPPA safe harbors to ensure they are offering the best advice to companies seeking their services for compliance. These safe harbors will be required to audit their member sites at least annually and report the aggregated results to the FTC.
In the final analysis, business operators should consult a knowledgeable attorney to comply with the updated regulation. Detailed questions regarding enforcement will be answered over time as we see how the FTC enforces the regulation. If you have questions about the new COPPA rules, or any other privacy-related matters, please contact Greg Boyd at (212) 826-5581 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or any other member of our Advertising, or Technology, Digital Media & Privacy Groups.
Other Advertising Law Alerts
New Low-Budget Waiver is Now Available for Digital Commercial Productions
Advertisers and agencies that are signatories to the SAG-AFTRA Commercials Contract can now take advantage of a new waiver issued by SAG-AFTRA and the Joint Policy Committee on Broadcast Talent Union Relations when producing low-budget digital commercials.
November 10 2017
FTC Updates Endorsement Guide FAQs and Settles First-Ever Action Against Individual “Influencers”
Recent developments demonstrate the FTC's continued interest in social media endorsements.
September 11 2017
FTC Announces Reforms to Its Investigative Process
Recently, the FTC announced a set of internal reforms intended to improve the process by which the Commission investigates unfair, deceptive and fraudulent business practices. The reforms relate to the Civil Investigative Demands ("CID") that the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection issues to request information from investigation targets.
September 7 2017