FTC Seeks Comment on Self-Regulatory Guidelines to Protect Children’s Online Privacy
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has issued a notice seeking public comments on a proposed set of self-regulatory guidelines submitted by i-SAFE, Inc. under the safe harbor provision of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule. Comments must be submitted by March 1, 2010.
The organization that prepared the proposed guidelines is a non-profit that for some years has partnered with industry to provide educational programs for children about online safety issues. It recently determined that it would become involved in assisting and licensing online “operators” with children’s online privacy issues. Among other matters, the i-Safe guidelines would (i) provide notice to parents about the information collected from children by i-Safe licensees, (ii) require verifiable parental consent for the collection of personal information from children; and (iii) provide parents with an opportunity to view the information collected and prevent its further dissemination. See Federal Register, January 13, 2010.
In recent years, consumer advocates concerned about youth marketing have raised concerns about the online initiatives, including games and personalized digital marketing, that some food companies have used to increase brand awareness among children.