FTC to Host Public Roundtable on Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule

In light of rapidly changing technology such as the increased use of smartphones and other devices to access websites and online services, as well as new methods for collecting and using information online, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will host a public roundtable on Wednesday, June 2nd, to explore whether updates to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule (COPPA) Rule are needed. 

The COPPA Rule was enacted in April 2000 and requires Web site operators to obtain parental consent before collecting, using, or disclosing personal information from children under 13. It also requires that the operators keep the information they collect from children secure, and prohibits them from requiring children to turn over any more personal information than is reasonably necessary to participate in activities on their Web sites.

Tomorrow’s roundtable, entitled “Protecting Kids’ Privacy Online: Reviewing the COPPA Rule”, will be held from 8:45 am to 5:30 pm at the FTC Conference Center in Washington, DC. 

Discussion topics will include:

  • Whether the Rule should be applied to emerging media such as mobile devices, interactive television, and interactive gaming;
  • Potential expansion of the Rule to cover more items of personal information that might be collected from children; and,
  • A review of the parental verification methods (best practices and technologies) used by Web site operators.

Those who wish to participate but cannot attend in person can view a live webcast at www.ftc.gov.

In addition, a 90-day public comment period on whether changes to technology warrant changes to COPPA ends on June 30, 2010.   [more information]
The Toy Industry Association (TIA) will be represented at the June 2nd workshop; the Association also plans to submit comments in response to the Federal Register notice.

TIA members will be kept apprised as additional information becomes available.