Facebook Seeks FTC Clarification On Possible Changes To COPPA

By David Cohen 

Facebook submitted a filing to the Federal Trade Commission seeking clarification on whether the social network and other websites will be able to show first-party advertising to children if the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) is updated by the agency.

Mashable reported that the FTC’s proposed changes to the 1998 bill would add applications, games, and online advertising networks to the list of platforms that are restricted from collecting personal information from Internet users under 13, but it is unclear whether first-party advertising to children would be affected by the agency’s potential revisions.

Facebook’s filing (embedded below, via Mashable) asked the FTC to clarify whether websites will still be allowed to show first-party advertisements to children, pointing out that the agency has previously treated first-party ads differently from third-party ads, and writing, as reported by Mashable:

The commission emphasized in its report that it is generally consistent with the context of an interaction for a company to use data collected during first-party interactions for marketing purposes.

It then distinguished marketing based on data collected as a third party, which the commission argued was outside of the generally understood context of a consumer’s interaction. The commission should make that understanding explicit in the COPPA rule by expressly including first-party advertising under the “internal operations” rubric. This clarification further supports the balance created between the significant demand for free, advertising-supported services, and the expected tailoring of those services.

Readers: How do you think the FTC will respond to Facebook’s filing

Facebook’s COPPA FTC Filing

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