That was the message on Wednesday as the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued new guidelines for implementing the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).
Among other things, the changes expand the list of information that cannot be collected from children without parental consent to include photographs, videos and audio recordings of children and geo-location information.
“Unless you get parental consent, you may not track children and use their information to build massive profiles of online behavior,” said FTC Chairman Leibowitz.
The new rules are a major revision to the COPPA rule, which was first passed in 1998. The law is a kind of privacy Bill of Rights and applies to children 13 years old and younger.
Other new rules bar advertisers from collecting geo-location information from kids, strengthen security requirements for kids’ data and close a loophole that allowed third parties to collect personal information from kids using plug-ins to kid directed mobile- applications and web sites. The update also extend COPPA to clearly cover persistent cookies that can track users across multiple web sites and third parties that contract with website operators.
Not covered under COPPA: mobile app stores, which have a broad audience and aren't targeted explicitly at the under-13 set. Stay tuned for more legislation to expand the protections afforded by COPPA to teenagers, the lawmakers said."
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