ftc-logo-gif

Kids Privacy Rule Changes Satisfy Some Ad Industry Concerns

  |  August 1, 2012   |  Comments

Proposed COPPA rule change by FTC would not apply to contextual ads.

Alterations to rule change proposals for protecting children online would still prevent personal info from being collected from kids under 13 for behaviorally-targeted ads. The Federal Trade Commission introduced proposed changes to the Children's Online Privacy Protection Rule, known as COPPA.

In particular, the FTC proposed altering the definition of "personal information" in the COPPA law "to make clear that a persistent identifier will be considered personal information where it can be used to recognize a user over time, or across different sites or services, where it is used for purposes other than support for internal operations." COPPA applies to sites and online services aimed at children under age 13.

The new proposal goes into more detail, and appears to be in direct response to several comments from digital companies and trade groups. Now, the rule would not apply to "personal information" collection for basic website operations including "site maintenance and analysis, performing network communications, use of persistent identifiers for authenticating users, maintaining user preferences, serving contextual advertisements, and protecting against fraud and theft."

Still, the FTC's proposal would prevent the use of personal info to be collected for behaviorally-targeted ads.

The Interactive Advertising Bureau's own self-regulatory guidelines already block behaviorally-targeted ads from being delivered to users known to be under age 13, as well as collection of any data that can be associated with a device whose user is known to be under 13.

The new proposal - open to comments until September 10 - does seem to take specific industry concerns into account. In 2011, when the FTC unveiled its proposed changes, trade groups including the IAB and the Digital Advertising Alliance, along with Google, Yahoo, and other big online ad firms submitted comments expressing concern that the new rules were overreaching. Expansion of the personal information definition would allow COPPA to apply to "routine advertising and analytics activities that do not involve behavioral targeting or individual contact," wrote the IAB at the time.

In response, Google expressed concern that even contextual ads - meaning ads that are aimed based on the content of a web page rather than a user's perceived interests or previous web interactions - would require parental consent. "Even purely contextual advertising delivered by third-party ad networks like Google's requires the collection of IP addresses for at least fraud detection and reporting purposes," stated Google's 2011 comments to the FTC.

Today the FTC also made clear that COPPA applies to ad networks when they have reason to know they are collecting personal information through a "child-directed website or online service." In addition, the changes would allow sites with audiences including kids and adults to age-screen users rather than requiring them to treat all users as under age 13.

The FTC announced its original proposed changes to COPPA in September 2011, years before the next scheduled review in 2017. The rules originated in 2000.

ClickZ Live Toronto Twitter Canada MD Kirstine Stewart to Keynote Toronto
ClickZ Live Toronto (May 14-16) is a new event addressing the rapidly changing landscape that digital marketers face. The agenda focuses on customer engagement and attaining maximum ROI through online marketing efforts across paid, owned & earned media. Register now and save!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kate Kaye

Kate Kaye was Managing Editor at ClickZ News until October 2012. As a daily reporter and editor for the original news source, she covered beats including digital political campaigns and government regulation of the online ad industry. Kate is the author of Campaign '08: A Turning Point for Digital Media, the only book focused on the paid digital media efforts of the 2008 presidential campaigns. Kate created ClickZ's Politics & Advocacy section, and is the primary contributor to the one-of-a-kind section. She began reporting on the interactive ad industry in 1999 and has spoken at several events and in interviews for television, radio, print, and digital media outlets. You can follow Kate on Twitter at @LowbrowKate.

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

ClickZ Today is our #1 newsletter.
Get a daily dose of digital marketing.

COMMENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS

Featured White Papers

ion Interactive Marketing Apps for Landing Pages White Paper

Marketing Apps for Landing Pages White Paper
Marketing apps can elevate a formulaic landing page into a highly interactive user experience. Learn how to turn your static content into exciting marketing apps.

eMarketer: Redefining Mobile-Only Users: Millions Selectively Avoid the Desktop

Redefining 'Mobile-Only' Users: Millions Selectively Avoid the Desktop
A new breed of selective mobile-only consumers has emerged. What are the demos of these users and how and where can marketers reach them?

Jobs

    • Contact Center Professional
      Contact Center Professional (TCC: The Contact Center) - Hunt ValleyLooking to join a workforce that prides themselves on being routine and keeping...
    • Recruitment and Team Building Ambassador
      Recruitment and Team Building Ambassador (Agora Inc.) - BaltimoreAgora, www.agora-inc.com, continues to expand! In order to meet the needs of our...
    • Design and Publishing Specialist
      Design and Publishing Specialist (Bonner and Partners) - BaltimoreIf you’re a hungry self-starter, creative, organized and have an extreme...