Roughly 69 percent of parents said they didn't think it was OK for advertisers to collect and use information about a child's activities online, even if the child's personal information was anonymized, according to the survey. Around half of parents said they thought it was wrong for advertisers to store information about a child's' Web activities.
The FTC is currently working on updates to the 1998 Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), which passed before the rise of smartphones and social networks.
The trade agency unveiled its proposed changes to COPPA in August, which would expand the law's scope to include games, apps, ad networks and other online entities. Facebook, Google and other major companies have pushed back against some of the FTC's proposed changes.
Around 93 percent of parents and 90 percent of adults surveyed said they backed the core principle of COPPA, which requires websites and companies to obtain parents' permission before they collect personal information from children younger than 13.
“The results of this poll should be a wake-up call to the industry that parents understand what’s at stake for their kids in a digital world, and want the power to protect their children to remain in their hands,” Common Sense Media CEO James Steyer said in a statement. “The industry argues that updates to COPPA will stifle innovation and cost jobs, when in fact, they should respect the role of parents and use it build consumer trust."
The survey was conducted over a two-week period in November by Princeton Research Associates International. More than 2,000 adults were polled for the survey, and its margin of error is 3.8 percentage points.