Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Federal Trade Commission seeks to strengthen online safety for children

For parents who are concerned with their children’s online safety, in a statement to the press earlier today the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has proposed amendments to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act Rule (COPPA), which was created to protect the personal information of children under 13.

“In this era of rapid technological change, kids are often tech savvy but judgment poor. We want to ensure that the COPPA Rule is effective in helping parents protect their children online, without unnecessarily burdening online businesses,” said FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz.

The proposed changes cover the following areas: Definitions; parental notice; parental consent mechanisms; confidentiality and security requirements, and oversight of self-regulatory “safe harbor programs.”

From now, until November 28, 2011, the FTC is seeking public comments on the proposed revisions. Lieibowitz adds, “We look forward to the continuing thoughtful input from industry, children’s advocates, and other stakeholders as we work to update the Rule.”

Written comments must be received on or before November 28, 2011.

Write “COPPA Rule Review, 16 CFR Part 312, Project No. P-104503” on comments, and file your comment online at by following the instructions on the web-based form. 

To file comments on paper, mail or deliver comments to: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Room H-113 (Annex E) 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20580.

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