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Federal Trade Commission Revisits Children's Privacy 

The Federal Trade Commission has issued a new proposal that would expand and revise the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). COPPA was passed by Congress in 1998. The FTC is responsible for implementing the Act and has issued expanded rules over the years.

The most recently released update, if approved, would revise the definition of "personal information" to include geolocation data and persistent identifiers, such as online-tracking cookies. The proposal would authorize new ways to obtain verifiable parental consent, such as allowing parents to submit electronically scanned consent form. It would eliminate the use of e-mail to acquire parental consent.

The 4A's and other marketing and media groups will be filing comments on the new proposals. Deadline for the comments is November 28. In the meantime, the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee with jurisdiction over privacy issues has tentatively scheduled a hearing on the FTC report for October 5. The Subcommittee, chaired by Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-CA), has held a number of hearings and working groups on a broad range of privacy issues in recent months.

For more information, contact Dick O'Brien, dobrien@aaaa.org, or Linda Dove, ldove@aaaa.org, in the 4A's Washington Office.

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