The new Childrenâ€™s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) went into effect July 1, according to a press release. The Federal Trade Commission finished modernizing the rule after two years of revisions and four years of input.
The act, modified from its first implementation in 1998, widens the definition of personal information to include persistent identifiers such as cookies that track the online activity of children under 13, as well as their geolocation information, photos, videos and audio recordings. The law also bans behavioral advertising and the use of plug-ins such as the Facebook â€œLikeâ€ button for marketing, without parental consent.
So far, persistent identifiers recognized children over time, or across different sites and services, and were used for targeted advertising.
â€œAt the FTC, protecting childrenâ€™s privacy is a top priority,â€ FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez said. â€œThe updated COPPA rule helps put parents in charge of their childrenâ€™s personal information as it keeps pace with changing technologies.â€
Tougher federal rules also herald potentially negative effects, USA Today said. While the Application Developers Alliance asked for a delay of the revision, representatives at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation said the modified privacy act prevents developers from creating child-friendly services.
“The new COPPA rules are an example of regulators putting privacy ahead of innovation,” ITIF senior analyst Daniel Castro told USA Today. “Unfortunately, in this case, it’s hard to see how children come out ahead. The net impact will be the further erosion in the quality of free apps and websites available to children. Sadly regulators have taken a very narrow view of what it means to be helping children.â€
The FTC also released an updated guide for parents, â€œProtecting Your Childâ€™s Privacy Online,â€ that explains what COPPA is, how it works and what parents can do to help protect their kidsâ€™ privacy online.
The Childrenâ€™s Online Privacy Protection Act first set up the protection steps websites need to take to protect those under 13 in 1998.