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FTC starts sending COPPA letters to app developers

updated 09:51 pm EDT, Thu May 16, 2013

Agency preps developers for changes to important act

The US Federal Trade Commission has started sending out two letters to app developers, preparing them for changes to the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act taking effect July 1st, according to an announcement. The letters warn developers that restrictions on the collection of personal data from kids under 13 have been expanded, and now cover things like audio or video bearing a child's likeness. Previously, rules only covered the gathering of names, addresses, and phone numbers.

"The revised COPPA Rule requires all developers of apps that are directed to children under 13 -- or that knowingly collect personal information from children under 13 -- to post accurate privacy policies, provide notice, and obtain verifiable parental consent before collecting, using, or disclosing any 'personal information' from children," the FTC elaborates.

Exempted from the new policing are app platforms, such as Google Play and the Apple App Store. While companies like Apple and Google tend to have their own self-appointed privacy rules, responsibility for any COPPA violations will be up to each app creator.

by MacNN Staff



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