®: CRE Regulatory Action of the Week
A Private Sector Proposal to the FTC to Protect the Online Privacy of Children
The Federal Trade Commission has initiated a rulemaking proceeding to determine whether FTC should grant its seal of approval to a private company's "self-regulatory guidelines" to ensure compliance with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (15 U.S.C. § 6501 et seq.).
The Act is designed to ensure that parents are afforded the opportunity to control the way websites collect and use information pertaining to website users who are children. PrivacyBot.com, a private company, is now seeking FTC approval of a service it has created to streamline website compliance with the new statutory requirements. PrivacyBot.com would, for websites which buy their service, provide the required notices and assist in dispute resolution. Detailed information about the FTC rulemaking may be obtained at www.ftc.gov/privacy.
CRE believes, as a general policy matter, that federal agencies such as the FTC should subject any self-regulatory mechanisms to the "good government" laws including Executive Order 12866 -- Regulatory Planning and Review, and the Regulatory Flexibility Act.
There are a number of aspects of the PrivacyBot.com proposal which should be reviewed from the consumer's viewpoint. Because consumers using subscribing websites would rely on PrivacyBot.com's service to obtain the privacy protections mandated by Congress, CRE believes that the FTC should address the following issues before approving this or any similar proposal:
To be considered by the FTC, comments must be filed in the agency docket by April 6, 2000. Comments are also invited to the CRE's Interactive Public Docket.
For more information on the FTC rulemaking, see: Federal Register, Volume 65, Number 45 at pages 11947-11948. Please click below to submit comments to the CRE on the Proposed FTC Online Privacy Regulation: CRE Interactive Public Docket
Please click below to submit comments to the CRE on the proposed FTC regulation regarding protection of children's online privacy.
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