Rules for Children’s Online Privacy Updated

     WASHINGTON (CN) – The Federal Trade Commission has amended rules under the Children’s Online Privacy Act to strengthen protections for children’s personal information, because technology has changed drastically since the Children’s Privacy Act went into effect in April 2000.
     “The final amended rule includes modifications to the definitions of operator, personal information and website or online service directed at children,” the FTC explained. “The amended rule also updates the requirements set forth in the notice, parental consent, confidentiality and security, and safe harbor provisions, and adds a new provision addressing retention and deletion.”
     Specifically, the FTC is tasked with minimizing “the collection of children’s personal information and to create a safer, more secure online experience for them, even as online technologies, and children’s use of such technologies, evolve.”
     The definition of an “operator” is one that has been modified, clarifying that the rule covers an operator of a child-directed site or service, which may collect personal information from visitors.
     Part of the rule amendments “also streamline and clarify the direct notice requirements to ensure that key information is presented to parents in a succinct ‘just-in-time’ notice; [and] expand the non-exhaustive list of acceptable methods for obtaining prior verifiable parental consent,” the FTC stated.
     The new rules are based on public comments and the FTC’s experience administering the rule.

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