The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on Wednesday updated its child online privacy rules to reflect the burgeoning growth of social networking and smartphone apps. But, in a change from an earlier proposal, app stores run by companies such as Google Inc. and Apple Inc. will not be liable for privacy violations resulting from third-party apps or plug-ins, the Wall Street Journal Law Blog reports.
The FTC launched a review of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) in 2010, amid concerns that the 1998 law had not kept pace with new technologies. This summer, the FTC proposed a series of amendments to COPPA, including new measures that would hold companies responsible for selling third-party apps that collect children’s personal data if the company “knows or has reason to know” that such violations are occurring. According to a recent FTC report, many kids’ mobile apps gather data from users and sent it to the app developer, advertisers or analytics companies.