Tooke writes: Currently, the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) requires that websites get parental consent before collecting information from kids under age 13. Most websites simply ban the underage users, and the law has had little to no effect on adults and teenagers. However, the FTC has proposed changes that could hold plugin developers liable if their code is used on sites "directed to children." The developers would have to somehow either disallow children sites from using their plugins or verify that the users meet the minimum age requirements, a task ranging from difficult to impossible. The FTC also defines sites "directed to children" as sites that are "likely to attract an audience that includes a disproportionately large percentage of children under 13 as compared to the percentage of such children in the general population," though they give no clarification for how large a percentage is considered "disproportionate." However, sites that age screen before collecting personal information will be exempt. Public comments on the changes are being accepted until September 24th.
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