Child privacy rules boosted
Rules give parents more control over data collection.
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.