The Federal Trade Commission announced today that it has updated its ten-year-old rules on children's online safety but came just short of adding changes that would sanction or hold responsible platform holders like Facebook and Apple, reportsAll Things D. The new rules hope to tighten privacy and sharing restriction rules for children who might use social networks or mobile apps.
Under the new FTC changes, apps and websites used by children have to obtain parental consent before gathering or tracking information and other forms of data including videos and pictures. This, the FTC hopes will curb app makers and their third-party affiliates from accessing data they shouldn't be like email addresses, information such as geographic location, or online behavior.
But the FTC stopped short of rules it proposed in August about third-party plug-ins on websites such as Facebook's "like button" or ads placed by advertising networks. These kinds of functions will only have to meet the new child online privacy regulations if they know that collecting information through a website or app that targets children. The FTC also explicitly included exemptions for app platforms.
In announcing the new rules, FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz said they "strike the right balance between protecting innovation that will provide rich and engaging content for children, and ensuring that parents are informed and involved in their children's online activities."