The Federal Trade Commission on Wednesday announced several changes to existing law intended to give parents more control over the information gathered online from children under 13.
These are among the changes that go into effect on July 1: Geolocation information, photos, videos and voice recordings will be added to the types of personal information that can't be collected by children's websites or apps unless they have obtained a parent's consent. "Persistent identifiers" also will be added to that list. These include so-called cookies or other digital code that track users across different websites or apps, even without knowing the individual's name. Parental consent will be required when children's websites or services use "plug-ins" or embedded programs created by third-parties, if those programs collect personal information from kids. Website operators and online service providers will face stronger requirements to take reasonable steps to release children's personal information only to companies that can keep it secure and confidential.