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New Rules For Kid Privacy From the FTC

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The FTC is seeking comments on its new (just released!) revisions to their rules for administering the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).   The current Rule has been in place since 2005, and a few things have transpired online in the meantime (things like geolocation, the rise of social media, and a host of other things now too pervasive even to warrant a mention).  This most recent review began in 2010, and is genuinely a big deal for any industry that either deals with kids under the age of 13, or specifically does not want to deal with kids under the age of 13.  In other words, pretty much anyone doing anything online.

The big changesinclude definitions that take geolocation and tracking cookies into account, new parental notice mechanisms (a long-needed change), and increased oversight of safe harbor programs. 

Obviously, the comment periodwill bear watching (comments are due by November 28, 2011), and we will all look closely as the Rule comes into being sometime in the next few months.  Privacy on the Internet is always a major concern for adults, but regulator focus on children’s privacy cannot be overstated.