A Federal Trade Commission source has confirmed that the
agency is in the process of moving enforcement of the Children's Online Privacy
Protection Act from its Advertising Practices division to it Privacy and
Identity Protection (PIP) division. The move, launched by outgoing chairman Jon
Leibowitz, will take several months, according to the source.
That will mean some shuffling of oversight duties, but
beyond that, it also puts children's online protection rule enforcement
alongside other privacy protection issues.
"The idea is to centralize the privacy programs under
one roof," said the source, "so that the COPPA side can take
advantage of the expertise that the privacy division already has."
The move makes sense, given that PIP was not around when
COPPA was first adopted in 1996. The law restricts how kids younger than 13 can
be tracked and marketed to online.
FTC recently issued updates to its enforcement that strengthen the
protections, including by bringing geolocation, cookies (plug-ins) and
behavioral targeting explicitly within the rules.
Updating COPPA for the digital age has been one of the key
goals of Leibowitz's tenure at the agency.