FTC Extends Comment Deadline on COPPA Changes

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The Federal Trade Commission has extended the comment deadline on its proposed changes to the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act rules until Sept. 24. The deadline had been Sept. 10.

A number of commenters had asked for the extra time, said the FTC.

The FTC on Aug. 1 sought additional comments on its proposed changes for the rules related to what information websites and online services can collect from children under 13. Those included recommending that ad networks be subject to the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act when they are collecting personal information through a child-directed website.

Revisions in the definitions of "operator" and "website" directed to children will clarify their application to third parties, including ad networks and plug-ins that collect personal info through child-directed sites or services.

The FTC also proposes to include within the definition of covered operator one whose site integrates services from others that collect personal info. The FTC also specifies that persistent identifiers -- cookies, IP addresses -- will be considered personal information "where it can be used to recognize a user over time, or across different sites or services, or where it is used for purposes other than support for internal operations."

The definition of "website" would also be modified to "clarify that a plug-in or ad network is covered by the rule when it knows or has reason to know that it is collecting personal information through a child-directed website or online service."

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