The Federal Trade Commission on Wednesday announced it had narrowly voted to update regulations limiting what information companies can collect about kids under age 13 and how, over the Internet and through apps. The new updates to the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) include expanding the definition of "personal information" that can't be collected about kids without parental consent to include "geolocation information," photos and video.
Among other big changes, the new COPPA Rule also expressly states that social plug-ins -- such as Facebook "Like" buttons and Google "+1" buttons strewn around the Web -- aren't allowed to collect information about kids without parental consent, either. Under the previous COPPA Rule, these could have been argued to be exempt.
The new COPPA Rule will go into effect in July 2013. The updates were passed by a contentious vote in the FTC, 3 commissioners voted in favor of them, 1 abstained and 1 objected, penning a strongly worded dissent, which can be read online here (PDF).