The Federal Trade Commission is planning to propose a two-year extension to a portion of the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) that allows Web sites to obtain parental permissions via e-mail for use of children's data. Because expected advancements in secure electronic mechanisms and third-party services are behind schedule, the federal agency plans to continue allowing Web sites to get parent permissions through e-mail for data-gathering practices.
The privacy rule, enacted in 1998, applies to Web sites geared toward children under 13 and general sites knowingly collecting data about children. Among other provisions, COPPA requires sites to obtain permission from parents to collect personal data on children. Those permissions may be collected through e-mail, but were expected to advance to more secure means by April 21, 2002. The federal agency, which is requesting comments on its proposal, plans to extend the period until April 21, 2004.