Home > Our Products > The Latest Children’s Privacy Policy – The Good and the Bad

The Latest Children’s Privacy Policy – The Good and the Bad

Online privacy is a never ending issue, and companies and authorities have always tussled over the optimum rule set for this. But both parties have failed to find a neutral ground in this issue and the tug of war continues. Children’s privacy came into sharp focus recently with apps and other websites taking advantage of the innocence of children. There was a lot of pressure on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to revise its rule set for children’s online privacy. The body has finally relented and come up with some changes that are specifically aimed at making the internet a safe place for children.

However, as it is with any new policy, rule or change, some are happy while others are not. One group’s loss is the others’ gain and that is how things work in this field. This article will outline who stands to lose and who gains by these new children’s online privacy rule amendments.

Privacy Policy

Children Privacy

 

The App Makers and Websites Are Responsible For the Privacy of Under-13 Users

The old rule for children’s online privacy, Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act or COPA, had specified that children under the age of 13 should take the consent of their parents for using the sites and apps. This meant that the parents had to check if the apps and sites are safe before allowing their children to use them. This meant having measures like using VPNs, proxy servers or simple steps like stop cookies/tracking online in place.

But with the new rule set, parents don’t have to worry about their children as the websites and app makers are responsible for ensuring that privacy of children is not compromised. The rule set is so stringent that even if the websites and app makers have a reason to suspect if under-13 users are using their services, they should immediately disable tracking and information gathering.

App Makers Might Stay Away From Children’s Market Altogether

Since these rules came into force, app developers are scratching their heads on how to design their apps. Information gathering is the revenue generating force in these apps and without that, the concept of free apps makes no sense at all. Here’s an example. If a parent is using a game app on his/her device, app makers can track them and gather information as the users have consented. But imagine the same app is used by the child when the parent gets home. The app should not track or gather user information. If it does so, the developers are liable for prosecution.

This stranglehold might prompt the app developers to completely pull out of the children’s app development market.

The FTC and Parents Can Take a Breather

The FTC was under intense pressure from lobbying agencies and the general public to take a stand against children’s online privacy exploitation. With these rule changes, the FTC is out of the firing line. They can proudly say that they have done everything in their power to ensure that children remain safe when they are online.

Another party that is benefited by this rule amendment is the parents. Before this amendment, parents were constantly worried how their innocent child could be exploited when he/she is using the internet. Complete ban of internet usage was also not a feasible alternative as the present lifestyle requires its usage. But now, parents can just keep an eye on the sites and apps that their child is using. If there is anything suspicious about the site or the app, they can report it to the authorities and further action will be taken.

Overall, the exploiters (read app developers) have become the exploited now because of the latest privacy policy amendments. We still have to wait and watch the long term effects of this amendment.

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