The Wall Street Journal reported today that the US Federal Trade Commission has announced its decision to update its more than 10 year old law governing the privacy of children online. The changes will mean app developers and websites will be required to obtain parental consent when collecting photos, videos, geolocation information, or tracking behaviour of children 13 and under. However, as noted in the report, the updated rules have been altered since originally proposed in August and would not require third-party plug-ins, like Facebook Like buttons, or app platforms such as the App Store and Google Play to enforce the law:
in a departure from rule changes the government proposed in August, third-party “plug-ins” on websites—things like Facebook Inc.’s “Like” button and ads placed by advertising networks—will only have to meet child online privacy regulations if they have “actual knowledge” that they’re collecting information through a website or app that targets kids…
Apple made that point in five meetings with FTC officials in the fall. The FTC responded by explicitly exempting the Apple App Store and Google Play, the app store for mobile devices running Google’s Android software, from having to make sure that the apps they provided complied with Coppa.
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