The Federal Trade Commission said Wednesday that it is considering online privacy rules that would make it harder for advertisers and social networks to collect information about children without permission from parents.
The FTC said its proposed rules would require ad networks, social networks and other third-party partners of Web sites to ask parents for permission to collect information about users 12 years old or younger.
Currently, a Web site such as Disney.com is required to ask a parent’s permission when collecting personal identifiable information such as e-mail addresses and names.
But vague language in the 1998 Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act could allow companies supplying online ads — or even Facebook and Twitter which sometimes appear as little icons on Web sites — to avoid the parental consent process.
The consumer protection agency said it would take comments on the proposal for 30 days and then vote on them as part of a bigger overhaul of COPPA rules expected by the end of the year.