FTC extends comment period for COPPA

The Federal Trade Commission announced Friday it is extending the deadline for public comments on its review of the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) Rule until July 12.

According to an FTC statement, the Commission announced on March 24 that it was seeking comment on the costs and benefits of the COPPA Rule, which requires websites to notify parents and obtain their consent before collecting personal information from children under 13. Due to a technical error the original comment period which was slated to end on Wednesday will be extended.

"At the time, the Commission announced a 90-day comment period that would end on June 30, 2010. Due to a technical error, at least for some period of time, the website form where comments can be electronically submitted mistakenly stated that comments would be accepted until July 12, 2010. In fairness to anyone who might have relied upon that information, the Commission has extended the comment period through July 12."

Numerous groups have already weighed in on both sides of the debate; children's advocacy groups are seeking expanded protections from location-based and interactive applications, while privacy advocates and industry have warned that imposing sweeping age verification mandates could stifle innovation and threaten privacy on the Internet.