FTC updates online child privacy laws

Cecilia Kang, The Washington Post:

The federal government on Wednesday announced a landmark update to child online privacy laws, establishing guidelines that make it harder to track a gadget-obsessed generation with constant access to the Web.

The FTC’s announcement makes changes to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), which was passed in 1998 and obviously needs to be radically altered to fit the generational changes that have happened with technology use since then.

According to the report, new amendments require firms to seek permission from parents to collect information about their children, including photos, videos, and geolocation info. The intent is to close loopholes that have heretofore allowed social media services to collect personal information about children without a parental notice.