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FTC Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule amendments made clear

This week the FTC announced their first significant update to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule since 1998, having been in talks to do so since 2010. This set of changes was outlined by FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz who made it clear that the amount of time spent on these amendments should effectively underline their importance. A follow-up letter after the initial announcement was made created a list of easy-to-understand language surrounding the most significant changes and updates to the COPPA Rule.

The final amendments:

• modify the list of “personal information” that cannot be collected without parental notice and consent, clarifying that this category includes geolocation information, photographs, and videos;

• offer companies a streamlined, voluntary and transparent approval process for new ways of getting parental consent;

• close a loophole that allowed kid-directed apps and websites to permit third parties to collect personal information from children through plug-ins without parental notice and consent;

• extend coverage in some of those cases so that the third parties doing the additional collection also have to comply with COPPA;

• extend the COPPA Rule to cover persistent identifiers that can recognize users over time and across different websites or online services, such as IP addresses and mobile device IDs;

• strengthen data security protections by requiring that covered website operators and online service providers take reasonable steps to release children’s personal information only to companies that are capable of keeping it secure and confidential;

• require that covered website operators adopt reasonable procedures for data retention and deletion; and

• strengthen the FTC’s oversight of self-regulatory safe harbor programs.

The main rule also makes clear that any personal information collected from persons ages 13 and under must be kept entirely secure. If a website wishes to collect, use, or disclose any personal information from a person 13 years or younger they must get parental consent. The rule also notes that websites may not require a person under 13 to submit more personal information than is reasonably necessary to participate in said website, and that a “safe harbor” provision will be kept in the rule for industry groups “or others” to seek out FTC approval of any and all self-regulatory guidelines – just incase!

This update also included several modified definitions for terms such as Operator, Website, Online Service, Personal Information, and Collection. Personal Information will now be including geological information, photos, videos, and audio files that contain a child’s image or voice.

At the moment, the only way a website can receive official consent from a parent for their child is through a double email system called “email plus”, aka the “sliding-scale mechanism of parental consent”. This system works only for operators collecting information for internal use, the FTC also noting that they’re at this moment encouraging the development of new consent methods to make things easier on burgeoning websites of all kinds.

[via FTC]

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Ftc Contends No Spam Silver Bullet Exists

WASHINGTON — A legislative “silver bullet” to curb spam was all the talk Wednesday at a Senate Commerce Committee hearing on unsolicited bulk commercial e-mail. More specifically, there was consensus opinion that there was no such thing.

Since the 108th Congress convened in January, there have been more than a half dozen proposals for federal laws to slow the growth of unwanted e-mail from the CAN SPAM Act (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act) to the REDUCE Spam Act (Restrict and Eliminate Delivery of Unsolicited Commercial E-mail).

The public and business outcry against the flood of spam has prompted lawmakers to demand action now, but, as the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) found out in a three-day Spam Forum last month, there are no easy answers.

“While most agree that something should be done about spam, it is clear that legislation alone will not solve the problem,” Commerce Committee Chairman John McCain (R.-Ariz.) said. “The fact that there may be no silver bullet to the problem of spam does not mean, however, that we should stand idly by and do nothing about it.”

FTC Commissioners Mozelle W. Thompson and Orson Swindle told the committee a legislative silver bullet was not likely to solve the problems of increasing volume, increasing costs, and increasing international effects of spam.

The commissioners said the problems with spam include the fact that “deception and fraud appear to characterize the vast majority of spam,” and the volume of spam, which is multiplying at a rapid rate, is presenting infrastructure problems that may lead to “significant disruptions and inefficiencies in Internet services and may constitute a significant problem for consumers and businesses using the Internet.”

Thompson and Swindle told the panel, “Solving the problem of bulk unsolicited commercial e-mail will likely necessitate an integrated effort involving a variety of technological, legal, and consumer action, rather than one single solution.”

Almost all of the legislative actions currently being proposed call for bulk e-mailers to contain valid “from” addresses, legitimate subject lines and mandate consumers be given an opt-out provision. FTC evidence, however, indicates those alone are not likely reduce spam.

The FTC has brought more than 53 law enforcement actions against spammers, including spammers who used deceptive content, those who used deceptive “remove me” options, spammers who “spoofed,” or used deceptive from addresses, and those who used deceptive subject lines.

To compliment its law enforcement actions, the FTC has studied various aspects of spam and researched the problems it poses. An effort by the FTC and international partners to test whether spammers were honoring “remove me,” or “unsubscribe,” options found that 63 percent of the removal links did not function.

In a “spam harvest,” the FTC examined which online activities place consumers at risk for receiving spam.

An analysis of false claims in spam by the FTC staff found that nearly 66 percent of the spam appeared to contain deception, either in the content, in the subject line, or in the from line. The staff found that 20 percent of the spam they reviewed contained offers for investment or business opportunities; 18 percent offered adult-oriented products or services; 17 percent involved finance, including credit cards, mortgages, refinancing and insurance.

“An astonishing 90 percent of the investment/business opportunity category of spam contained indicia of false claims,” the testimony states. “This Spam Study confirms the Commission’s earlier belief that fraud operators, who are often among the first to exploit any technological innovation, have seized on the Internet’s capacity to reach millions of consumers quickly and at a low cost through spam.”

The testimony adds, “Not only are fraud operators able to reach millions of individuals with one message, but they also can misuse technology to conceal their identity. The Commission believes the proliferation of fraudulent or deceptive spam on the Internet poses a threat to consumer confidence in online commerce and, therefore, views the problem of deception as a significant issue in the debate over spam.”

Ftc Children’S Online Privacy Protection Rule Amendments Made Clear

FTC Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule amendments made clear

This week the FTC announced their first significant update to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule since 1998, having been in talks to do so since 2010. This set of changes was outlined by FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz who made it clear that the amount of time spent on these amendments should effectively underline their importance. A follow-up letter after the initial announcement was made created a list of easy-to-understand language surrounding the most significant changes and updates to the COPPA Rule.

The final amendments:

• modify the list of “personal information” that cannot be collected without parental notice and consent, clarifying that this category includes geolocation information, photographs, and videos;

• offer companies a streamlined, voluntary and transparent approval process for new ways of getting parental consent;

• close a loophole that allowed kid-directed apps and websites to permit third parties to collect personal information from children through plug-ins without parental notice and consent;

• extend coverage in some of those cases so that the third parties doing the additional collection also have to comply with COPPA;

• extend the COPPA Rule to cover persistent identifiers that can recognize users over time and across different websites or online services, such as IP addresses and mobile device IDs;

• strengthen data security protections by requiring that covered website operators and online service providers take reasonable steps to release children’s personal information only to companies that are capable of keeping it secure and confidential;

• require that covered website operators adopt reasonable procedures for data retention and deletion; and

• strengthen the FTC’s oversight of self-regulatory safe harbor programs.

The main rule also makes clear that any personal information collected from persons ages 13 and under must be kept entirely secure. If a website wishes to collect, use, or disclose any personal information from a person 13 years or younger they must get parental consent. The rule also notes that websites may not require a person under 13 to submit more personal information than is reasonably necessary to participate in said website, and that a “safe harbor” provision will be kept in the rule for industry groups “or others” to seek out FTC approval of any and all self-regulatory guidelines – just incase!

This update also included several modified definitions for terms such as Operator, Website, Online Service, Personal Information, and Collection. Personal Information will now be including geological information, photos, videos, and audio files that contain a child’s image or voice.

At the moment, the only way a website can receive official consent from a parent for their child is through a double email system called “email plus”, aka the “sliding-scale mechanism of parental consent”. This system works only for operators collecting information for internal use, the FTC also noting that they’re at this moment encouraging the development of new consent methods to make things easier on burgeoning websites of all kinds.

[via FTC]

Ftc Children’S Online Privacy Protection Rule Amendments Made Clear

FTC Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule amendments made clear

This week the FTC announced their first significant update to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule since 1998, having been in talks to do so since 2010. This set of changes was outlined by FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz who made it clear that the amount of time spent on these amendments should effectively underline their importance. A follow-up letter after the initial announcement was made created a list of easy-to-understand language surrounding the most significant changes and updates to the COPPA Rule.

The final amendments:

• modify the list of “personal information” that cannot be collected without parental notice and consent, clarifying that this category includes geolocation information, photographs, and videos;

• offer companies a streamlined, voluntary and transparent approval process for new ways of getting parental consent;

• close a loophole that allowed kid-directed apps and websites to permit third parties to collect personal information from children through plug-ins without parental notice and consent;

• extend coverage in some of those cases so that the third parties doing the additional collection also have to comply with COPPA;

• extend the COPPA Rule to cover persistent identifiers that can recognize users over time and across different websites or online services, such as IP addresses and mobile device IDs;

• strengthen data security protections by requiring that covered website operators and online service providers take reasonable steps to release children’s personal information only to companies that are capable of keeping it secure and confidential;

• require that covered website operators adopt reasonable procedures for data retention and deletion; and

• strengthen the FTC’s oversight of self-regulatory safe harbor programs.

The main rule also makes clear that any personal information collected from persons ages 13 and under must be kept entirely secure. If a website wishes to collect, use, or disclose any personal information from a person 13 years or younger they must get parental consent. The rule also notes that websites may not require a person under 13 to submit more personal information than is reasonably necessary to participate in said website, and that a “safe harbor” provision will be kept in the rule for industry groups “or others” to seek out FTC approval of any and all self-regulatory guidelines – just incase!

This update also included several modified definitions for terms such as Operator, Website, Online Service, Personal Information, and Collection. Personal Information will now be including geological information, photos, videos, and audio files that contain a child’s image or voice.

At the moment, the only way a website can receive official consent from a parent for their child is through a double email system called “email plus”, aka the “sliding-scale mechanism of parental consent”. This system works only for operators collecting information for internal use, the FTC also noting that they’re at this moment encouraging the development of new consent methods to make things easier on burgeoning websites of all kinds.

[via FTC]

Ftc Children’S Online Privacy Protection Rule Amendments Made Clear

FTC Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule amendments made clear

This week the FTC announced their first significant update to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule since 1998, having been in talks to do so since 2010. This set of changes was outlined by FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz who made it clear that the amount of time spent on these amendments should effectively underline their importance. A follow-up letter after the initial announcement was made created a list of easy-to-understand language surrounding the most significant changes and updates to the COPPA Rule.

The final amendments:

• modify the list of “personal information” that cannot be collected without parental notice and consent, clarifying that this category includes geolocation information, photographs, and videos;

• offer companies a streamlined, voluntary and transparent approval process for new ways of getting parental consent;

• close a loophole that allowed kid-directed apps and websites to permit third parties to collect personal information from children through plug-ins without parental notice and consent;

• extend coverage in some of those cases so that the third parties doing the additional collection also have to comply with COPPA;

• extend the COPPA Rule to cover persistent identifiers that can recognize users over time and across different websites or online services, such as IP addresses and mobile device IDs;

• strengthen data security protections by requiring that covered website operators and online service providers take reasonable steps to release children’s personal information only to companies that are capable of keeping it secure and confidential;

• require that covered website operators adopt reasonable procedures for data retention and deletion; and

• strengthen the FTC’s oversight of self-regulatory safe harbor programs.

The main rule also makes clear that any personal information collected from persons ages 13 and under must be kept entirely secure. If a website wishes to collect, use, or disclose any personal information from a person 13 years or younger they must get parental consent. The rule also notes that websites may not require a person under 13 to submit more personal information than is reasonably necessary to participate in said website, and that a “safe harbor” provision will be kept in the rule for industry groups “or others” to seek out FTC approval of any and all self-regulatory guidelines – just incase!

This update also included several modified definitions for terms such as Operator, Website, Online Service, Personal Information, and Collection. Personal Information will now be including geological information, photos, videos, and audio files that contain a child’s image or voice.

At the moment, the only way a website can receive official consent from a parent for their child is through a double email system called “email plus”, aka the “sliding-scale mechanism of parental consent”. This system works only for operators collecting information for internal use, the FTC also noting that they’re at this moment encouraging the development of new consent methods to make things easier on burgeoning websites of all kinds.

[via FTC]

Ftc Children’S Online Privacy Protection Rule Amendments Made Clear

FTC Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule amendments made clear

This week the FTC announced their first significant update to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule since 1998, having been in talks to do so since 2010. This set of changes was outlined by FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz who made it clear that the amount of time spent on these amendments should effectively underline their importance. A follow-up letter after the initial announcement was made created a list of easy-to-understand language surrounding the most significant changes and updates to the COPPA Rule.

The final amendments:

• modify the list of “personal information” that cannot be collected without parental notice and consent, clarifying that this category includes geolocation information, photographs, and videos;

• offer companies a streamlined, voluntary and transparent approval process for new ways of getting parental consent;

• close a loophole that allowed kid-directed apps and websites to permit third parties to collect personal information from children through plug-ins without parental notice and consent;

• extend coverage in some of those cases so that the third parties doing the additional collection also have to comply with COPPA;

• extend the COPPA Rule to cover persistent identifiers that can recognize users over time and across different websites or online services, such as IP addresses and mobile device IDs;

• strengthen data security protections by requiring that covered website operators and online service providers take reasonable steps to release children’s personal information only to companies that are capable of keeping it secure and confidential;

• require that covered website operators adopt reasonable procedures for data retention and deletion; and

• strengthen the FTC’s oversight of self-regulatory safe harbor programs.

The main rule also makes clear that any personal information collected from persons ages 13 and under must be kept entirely secure. If a website wishes to collect, use, or disclose any personal information from a person 13 years or younger they must get parental consent. The rule also notes that websites may not require a person under 13 to submit more personal information than is reasonably necessary to participate in said website, and that a “safe harbor” provision will be kept in the rule for industry groups “or others” to seek out FTC approval of any and all self-regulatory guidelines – just incase!

This update also included several modified definitions for terms such as Operator, Website, Online Service, Personal Information, and Collection. Personal Information will now be including geological information, photos, videos, and audio files that contain a child’s image or voice.

At the moment, the only way a website can receive official consent from a parent for their child is through a double email system called “email plus”, aka the “sliding-scale mechanism of parental consent”. This system works only for operators collecting information for internal use, the FTC also noting that they’re at this moment encouraging the development of new consent methods to make things easier on burgeoning websites of all kinds.

[via FTC]

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