Child pri­vacy rules boosted

Rules give par­ents more con­trol over data col­lec­tion.

Austin American-Statesman - - THE SECOND FRONT -

In a move in­tended to give par­ents greater con­trol over data col­lected about their chil­dren on­line, fed­eral reg­u­la­tors Wed­nes­day broad­ened long-stand­ing pri­vacy safe­guards cov­er­ing chil­dren’s apps and web­sites.

Mem­bers of the Fed­eral Trade Com­mis­sion said they had up­dated the pro­vi­sions to keep pace with the grow­ing use of mo­bile phones and tablets among chil­dren. The reg­u­la­tions also re­flect in­no­va­tions like voice-recog­ni­tion tech­nol­ogy, global po­si­tion­ing sys­tems and be­hav­ior-based on­line ad­ver­tis­ing — that is, ads tai­lored to an In­ter­net user’s habits.

Reg­u­la­tors had not sig­nif­i­cantly changed the orig­i­nal rule, based on the Chil­dren’s On­line Pri­vacy Pro­tec­tion Act of 1998, since its in­cep­tion. That rule re­quired op­er­a­tors of web­sites di­rected at chil­dren to no­tify par­ents and ob­tain their per­mis­sion be­fore col­lect­ing or shar­ing per­sonal in­for­ma­tion — like first and last names, phone num­bers, home ad­dresses or email ad­dresses — from chil­dren un­der 13.

Leg­is­la­tors who en­acted that law said the in­tent was to give par­ents con­trol over en­ti­ties seek­ing to col­lect in­for­ma­tion about their chil­dren so that the par­ents could, among other things, pre­vent un­wanted con­tact by strangers.

The new rule sig­nif­i­cantly ex­pands the types of com­pa­nies re­quired to ob­tain parental per­mis­sion be­fore know­ingly col­lect­ing per­sonal de­tails from chil­dren, as well as the types of in­for­ma­tion that will re­quire parental con­sent to col­lect.

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