The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is once again warning toy makers that their products must adhere to children’s privacy rules. In the wake of widespread media reports highlighting privacy dangers in child toys, including the exposure of voice recordings in toy pets and child data leaked from mobile apps and games, there has been increased scrutiny from lawmakers regarding the invasion of children’s privacy.
In June, as reported by Law360, the FTC updated its compliance plan for businesses with regard to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) rules, in order “to reflect the rise of [modern] technologies and other recent developments in the marketplace.” These new technologies include internet-connected toys as well as other smart devices.
Major toy makers have been accused of permitting third-party vendors, including marketing and advertising companies, to track the online activities of children on their websites in direct contravention of children’s privacy rules. COPPA enacted strict limits on online marketing relating to children under age 13, among other strictures requiring website operators to receive parental consent before collecting personal information from the kids who browse their sites.
COPPA’s expanded business-related policies “require covered entities to ‘maintain the confidentiality, security and integrity of information they collect from children, including by taking reasonable steps to release such information only to parties capable of maintaining its confidentiality and security,’ and connected device manufacturers would be wise to ensure that the security of the children’s data their products collect is being adequately protected,” noted Law360.
Help Us Stop Illegal Child Data Collection
Giant media companies and digital ad networks directly profit by tracking and accumulating information about kids to generate comprehensive and detailed profiles of children without parental permission. Recent governmental investigations and lawsuits in New York and elsewhere reveal that numerous major game and app manufacturers allow third-parties to illegally access, collect, and profit from children’s personal information on some of the most popular children’s websites and mobile apps and games. Learn more about Child Privacy Data Breaches and significant ongoing violations of U.S. child privacy laws.
If you are interested in finding out more and helping us stop these practices, contact digital privacy lawyers Nicholas Diamand or Douglas Cuthbertson by using the form on this page or by calling us toll-free at 1 800 541-7358.