Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Government Privacy United States Your Rights Online

FTC Strengthens Children's Privacy Protections Online 45

Posted by Soulskill
from the don't-think-of-the-children-without-parental-consent dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The U.S. Federal Trade Commission today updated the privacy standards that protect children's privacy online. The new rules say companies must gain parental consent before collecting a kid's geolocation data, photos, and videos. It also broadened existing language to include third parties and companies that collect data on users across multiple websites. 'While the new rule strengthens such safeguards, it could also disrupt online advertising. Web sites and online advertising networks often use persistent identification systems — like a customer code number in a cookie in a person's browser — to collect information about a user's online activities and tailor ads for that person. But the new rule expands the definition of personal information to include persistent IDs — such as a customer code number, the unique serial number on a mobile phone, or the I.P. address of a browser — if they are used to show a child behavior-based ads.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

FTC Strengthens Children's Privacy Protections Online

Comments Filter:
  • by pclminion (145572) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @07:07PM (#42342311)
    How do you know the user is a child and thus subject to special rules? By asking them? If so, this is awesome -- I'll just tell everybody I'm a kid and get all the same privacy safeguards (because my "parent" is me, and he'll never give consent).
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      How do you know the user is a child and thus subject to special rules? By asking them? If so, this is awesome -- I'll just tell everybody I'm a kid and get all the same privacy safeguards (because my "parent" is me, and he'll never give consent).

      Browser makers should replace "Do Not Track" with "I'm a Child." Does the same thing, but advertisers aren't allowed to ignore it.

    • I think this is one of those "You'll know if you're breaking the law."

      Does HBO really need to do anything about this law? No... you just pop up a window "Are you over the age of 13? y/n" and yes goes to the content, and no drops you somewhere not on your site cause you dont even want to deal with them. HBO isn't in the business of profiting off of pre-teens.

      If you're nickelodeon? Well then I guess you'd shut down your behavior tracking, add targeting MMO design teems because society has decided that what yo

  • by s.petry (762400) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @07:22PM (#42342531)

    Have to say it. 13 is too low of an age limit. It should be at least 16, which is the age of consent in the majority of states. 13 was fine in the early days, before we had all of the bots doing the leg work. Now, it should be higher and more restrictive.

    Look at the bright side, it'll generate lots of revenue for someone to develop all of those restrictions into the bots.

  • by Swampash (1131503) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @07:25PM (#42342567)

    Allow me to paraphrase Instagram's position on this issue: the USFTC can eat a dick.

    From Instagram's new Terms of Service:

    (Y)ou agree that a business or other entity may pay us to display your username, likeness, photos (along with any associated metadata), and/or actions you take, in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you. If you are under the age of eighteen (18), or under any other applicable age of majority, you represent that at least one of your parents or legal guardians has also agreed to this provision (and the use of your name, likeness, username, and/or photos (along with any associated metadata)) on your behalf.

    Get that? "If you're using this service and you're under 18 we will act as if we have parental consent to share every bit of data we have about you with anyone we want."

    • by s.petry (762400) on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @07:57PM (#42342955)

      I don't think that would hold water in court. It's been a long time since I studied that type of case law, but there is a specific term for that type of contract. Given a couple hours in the law library I would have a solid case against that TOS.

      The equivalent would be to give a contract to an autistic person taking 100% of their profits from their exceptional art talent, and having a statement of "my legal guardians agree to me signing this contract." The contract signed by only the autistic person is legally worth less than toilet paper. The contract is not valid because of that clause and I could sue for not only actual loss but some hefty damages.

      • by Swampash (1131503)

        Didn't stop them putting that in the Terms though, did it?

    • "If you are under the age of eighteen (18), or under any other applicable age of majority, you represent that at least one of your parents or legal guardians has also agreed to this provision (and the use of your name, likeness, username, and/or photos (along with any associated metadata)) on your behalf."

      Conveniently a minor (under the age of eighteen) can't legally agree to such terms, and can't legally make such a representation.
  • Great, so now all we have to do is convince the FCC that everyone in America is a child so that we don't get tracked!
  • "While the new rule strengthens such safeguards, it could also disrupt online advertising."

    So what you are saying is, there is no down side?

    • "While the new rule strengthens such safeguards, it could also disrupt online advertising."

      So what you are saying is, there is no down side?

      You've got a funny notion of whose benefit this country is supposed to be run for.

      • It was supposed to be a joke about anything that disrupts online advertising being a good thing, but apparently my sense of humor is incompatible with Slashdot.

    • The downside is that little folks like me have to jump through more hoops trying to provide their services in accordance with the laws, when we don't track you for advertising purposes anyway, (GEO-IP lookup to find you a good low latency server to play on), will simply end up frustrating you needlessly with "Enter Your Birthday" every page load or every time you start the program because: How the fuck else can we comply with a law that says we must not store underage kids info without parental consent exc

  • by rueger (210566) * on Wednesday December 19, 2012 @08:18PM (#42343139) Homepage
    "However, no parental notice and consent is required when an operator collects a persistent identifier for the sole purpose of supporting the website or online service's internal operations, such as contextual advertising, frequency capping, legal compliance, site analysis, and network communications,"

    In legal terms that's what you call a Loophole Big Enough To Drive A Truck Through.

    Seriously, how would this work anyhow? Surely kids will figure out pretty fast to lie about their age - who's going to follow up and prove them wrong? Or they'll just click the "Yes, I'm the Parent and Approve this Activity" Button. Think Facebook is going to try to track down Mommy or Daddy to confirm that it really was them that gave approval?
    • by alexgieg (948359)

      Think Facebook is going to try to track down Mommy or Daddy to confirm that it really was them that gave approval?

      Just wonder about the possibilities! All signup forms would have an additional field for one to submit a scan of an official ID card. Failure to provide it would set your account to kid status and cut you out of basically everything. Providing it would destroy any resemblance of anonymity, everywhere, for everyone.

      Then, at a later stage, website operator could become frustrated enough to require the establishment of a central identification service. Managed by the government, of course. Something OpenID-bas

To do nothing is to be nothing.

Working...