FTC Steps Up Online Safety Laws For Children Including Turning Off Tracking And Targeted Ads

The FTC is making online safety advocates for children happy by proposing a host of changes that it feels must be incorporated into the law.

The amendments are plenty and mighty in nature, transforming a law that has been in place for decades. This is why the changes are being dubbed revolutionary and a long time coming as it ensures companies can no longer target the youth easily through tracking.

So many kids are tracked and sent targeted ads, and their ages are below 13. But with the new rules in place, such behavior will no longer be allowed by default and the same would stand true for push alerts that again would be limited.

COPPA which is the online privacy act for kids was first introduced in the year 1998 and this forced all kid's apps and platforms to receive consent from parents before it went on to target kids by collecting their data online. But the act is years old and the last time we heard of a change was probably 10 years back.

Therefore, a revamp was certainly necessary, and seeing it finally being spoken about has made critics happy. So many children should be given the chance to surf, play, and learn online without any kind of fear that their data is being tracked.

Companies feel no shame in such acts that give them more means to monetize users’ personal data, per a statement mentioned by the FTC’s chairman Lina Khan. Such changes were dubbed as the most needed. And with advancing technology helping others navigate through daily activities, it only makes sense as to why more companies are using the technology for children’s surveillance.

For now, the news is getting plenty of appreciation from those leading online safety movements.

Further details were revealed as to how the commission’s proposal is designed to keep data use linked to kids at a bare minimum and assist firms from carrying out exploitation. In the same manner, they’re designed for the sake of protecting kids from specific targeting by making the most of AI responsibly. In case you were not aware, this is causing an increase in data collection practices and therefore would also need proper regulation.

The FTC concluded by adding how kids below 12 deserve the right to stay safe and guarded at all times as it ensures a safe and healthy lifestyle and great well-being.

So what changes were proposed and how soon can they pop up?

For starters, ads would only be displayed if the user opts into accepting the practice. It will no longer be set as a default and only if the user agrees to ad targeting would they be given ads of this nature.

Secondly, online operators would no longer be allowed to attain contact details through means like cookies which are designed to track online behavior. This means no more push notifications added that are designed to motivate them to make use of online services more frequently than normal.

There will also be a limit to how much education technology can make use of users’ information for commercial purposes. This is just another safeguard that would be updated in the current guidance present today.

Schools can give providers linked to education technology the chance to utilize and reveal personal data belonging to students. Still, again that would be solely for educational and school purposes without a complete bar on commercial use.

Similarly, companies would only be enabled to keep user data for a limited period and once the necessary purpose gets fulfilled, it would be eliminated. So this limits the figures for retained data being used for secondary reasons.

Image: DIW-Aigen

Read next: Companies Urged To Take Action As New Study Proves AI-Image Generators Are Trained On Kids’ Explicit Images
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