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FTC Proposes Changes to Regulations Concerning Online Privacy of Children

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) proposed a series of changes in existing regulations aimed at covering the online privacy of children.

The move could play crucial role in safeguarding children’s privacy aspects, especially if one considers how deep an impact online technologies make on the lives of children.

The Children’s Online Privacy Protection act, known as Coppa, was introduced more than 10 years ago - long before the emergence of smartphones and social networking sites. Coppa ensures that companies ask for parental consent before collecting personal information of those under the age of 13.

If the changes proposed by FTC go into effect, the law would include geo-location data in the definition of ‘personal information’. In addition, other identifiers such as "tracking cookies used for behavioural advertising" could also be barred from extracting children’s personal information.

“Specifically, the Commission proposes adding a requirement that operators ensure that any service providers or third-parties to whom they disclose a child's personal information have in place reasonable procedures to protect it,” FTC’s proposal states, according to a CNet article.

It further proposes that “operators (can) retain the information for only as long as is reasonably necessary, and that they properly delete that information by taking reasonable measures to protect against unauthorized access to..."