Mobile app developers will likely bear the brunt of the impending crackdown by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission for illegally collecting data on children and violating the federal Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, or COPPA.
That’s the assertion of Jules Polonetsky, executive director of the Future of Privacy Forum, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank focused on responsible data practices. Polonetsky studies the burgeoning mobile space and interacts regularly with FTC attorneys.
“If you’re tracking kids across sites, like data analytics and ad network companies, for example, you are collecting personal information on children — and you’re doing it without parental consent,” Polonetsky told VentureBeat.
As VentureBeat first reported, the FTC declared in March that it will begin moving aggressively against tech companies violating COPPA. So far the crackdown hasn’t materialized, but the rumor mill is awash with speculation on who will take the first hits — which are likely to result in large fines.
The purported crackdown comes after the FTC tweaked COPPA last year, giving online advertisers, gaming outfits, and others a grace period to adapt to the rapidly changing online mobile advertising space — or face the consequences.