“Washington is pushing Silicon Valley on children’s privacy, and Silicon Valley is pushing back,” Natasha Singer reports for The New York Times.
“Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Twitter have all objected to portions of a federal effort to strengthen online privacy protections for children,” Singer reports. “In addition, media giants like Viacom and Disney, cable operators, marketing associations, technology groups and a trade group representing toy makers are arguing that the Federal Trade Commission’s proposed rule changes seem so onerous that, rather than enhance online protections for children, they threaten to deter companies from offering children’s Web sites and services altogether.”
“‘If adopted, the effect of these new rules would be to slow the deployment of applications that provide tremendous benefits to children, and to slow the economic growth and job creation generated by the app economy,’ Catherine A. Novelli, vice president of worldwide government affairs at Apple, wrote in comments to the agency,” Singer reports. “‘What children post online or search as part of their homework should not haunt them as they apply to colleges or for jobs,’ Representative Edward J. Markey, Democrat of Massachusetts and co-chairman of the Bipartisan Congressional Privacy Caucus, said in a recent phone interview.”
Singer reports, “The F.T.C. wants to expand the types of data whose collection requires prior parental permission to include persistent ID systems, like unique device codes or customer code numbers stored in cookies, if those codes are used to track children online for advertising purposes… The social networks say they cannot keep track of the many sites that download their software plug-ins, and therefore cannot know whether they are inadvertently collecting data on children’s sites. Google and Apple made a similar argument, telling regulators that app platforms like Android and the iTunes store should not be held liable for the data collection practices of the children’s apps they sell.”
Read more in the full article here.