The Federal Trade Commission hosted a public workshop on October 7, 2019 to explore whether to update the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule.
The Future of the COPPA Rule: An FTC Workshop examined whether to update the COPPA Rule in light of evolving business practices in the online children’s marketplace, including the increased use of Internet of Things devices, social media, educational technology, and general audience platforms hosting third-party child-directed content. The COPPA Rule, which was enacted in 2000 and updated in 2013, requires certain Web site operators to obtain parental consent before collecting, using, or disclosing personal information from children under 13. Workshop topics included:
- How the development of new technologies or business models, the evolving nature of privacy harms, and changes in the way parents and children use websites and online services, affect children’s privacy today;
- How the Rule should address parental consent for education technology vendors that collect personal information consented to by schools, following on discussions that occurred during the FTC’s Student Privacy and Ed Tech workshop in December 2017;
- Whether the Rule should include a specific exception to parental consent for audio files containing a child's voice that website operators collect and then promptly delete;
- Whether the Rule should permit general audience platforms to rebut the presumption that all users of child-directed content are children, and if so, under what circumstances;
- Whether the revisions to the Rule made in 2013 have worked as intended or require modification; and
- Whether the Rule should be amended to better address websites and online services that do not include traditionally child-oriented activities, but that have large numbers of child users.
For a more detailed list of topics, see the Commission’s request for public comment on the COPPA Rule.
The workshop was free and open to the public.