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Free Expression

FTC Panel Wrestles With Children’s Privacy Law in Face of New Technologies

Panelists at an FTC public meeting Wednesday in Washington struggled with applying the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act to new communications devices and to the generally accepted knowledge that many website operators can’t screen children from viewing their content. COPPA requires that the FTC review follow-through on the law every five years. The public comment period for the current review will end June 30. Among the questions addressed by the FTC is how to apply the law’s definition of the Internet to reach new technologies such as mobile communications and interactive television and gaming devices. Redefining the “actual knowledge” standard for when online providers should know that children under 13 are accessing their websites also is under consideration.