We previously wrote about how toys, baby monitors, and other smart devices collect, use, and disclose personal information about children, and risks to children’s privacy. As adults responsible for the safety of children in our care, learning about how smart devices collect, use, and disclose personal information of children should be a top priority, just as we oversee physical safety for those in our care.
Although the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) was a good first start to try to regulate the collection of children’s information online, the law has not kept pace with rapidly developing technology and online tools. The last update to COPPA was in 2013, which is ancient history in the world of technology.
The Federal Trade Commission is proposing changes to COPPA that would strengthen restrictions on the use and disclosure of children’s personal information and would “further limit the ability of companies to condition access to services on monetizing children’s data. The proposal aims to shift the burden from parents to providers to ensure that digital services are safe and secure for children.”
For parents and guardians: although the FTC is working to protect children, we should too. Stay educated on how children’s privacy is affected by their online use, how their data is stored, used, and monetized, and educate children about how to protect themselves.