Kids' messenger app exposed users to unapproved chats

(Jul 23, 2019) Facebook began alerting users that a technical error in its Messenger Kids app allowed children to engage in group chats with unapproved users, The Verge reports. Facebook confirmed alerts were sent to thousands of users and that it had turned off the affected chats. It is unclear how long the problem persisted before it was discovered. Launched in December 2017, the app was designed to give parents the ability to approve who minors could message but has faced scrutiny for how it handles childre... Read More

CCPA Amendment Tracker

(Jul 21, 2019) There has been a flurry of state-level legislative activity in 2019 leading up to the implementation of the California Consumer Privacy Act Jan. 1, 2020. More than a dozen amendments addressing various parts of the comprehensive state law have surfaced in the California Legislature this year. To help keep track of all this activity, the IAPP has put together the "CCPA Amendment Tracker." The grid includes the bill number, a brief summary of the amendment, subject, lead author, status, and last l... Read More

FTC looks for comments on COPPA Rule

(Jul 18, 2019) The U.S. Federal Trade Commission announced it will accept comments on the effectiveness of amendments made to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule back in 2013. The COPPA Rule requires websites that collect data from users under the age of 13 to provide notice and obtain consent from parents whenever a child’s data is collected, used and disclosed. The FTC seeks feedback on whether the rule affected young users’ ability to access the sites and if the rule properly defines an online ser... Read More

Fla. gov. to go forward with school safety database despite criticism

(Jul 12, 2019) Gov. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., has denied recent requests to terminate the state's school safety database and will continue to gather data that tracks students' mental health, Spectrum Bay News 9 reports. DeSantis put out a statement explaining the purpose and use of the database were being misinterpreted by the coalition of 33 organizations. DeSantis said the database functions as "a tool for threat assessment teams to evaluate the seriousness of individual cases and is not being used to label stud... Read More

China embraces DNA testing with little concern for privacy

(Jul 11, 2019) China's rising use of DNA testing and the lack of privacy consideration that comes with it was discussed in a recent episode of "Prognosis," Bloomberg's medical innovation podcast. Chinese citizens are sacrificing the privacy that comes with their genetic information in exchange for personal gains that go beyond the standard DNA test results. Alluring advancements with test results, including the ability to predict and make future life decisions, have contributed to subjects letting privacy fall... Read More

Md. school district to begin annual deletion of old student data

(Jul 11, 2019) The Wall Street Journal reports Maryland's Montgomery County Public Schools have taken up an annual purge of its databases that contain data of more than 162,000 students. Montgomery County is the first district in the state and one of just a handful of districts nationwide to take up the clearing venture. The "Data Deletion Week" will clear student internet histories from servers run by Google, Apple and GoGuardian, which offers services to help teachers manage classrooms and monitor students. ... Read More

US Senate hearing brings criticism of tech giants for lacking children's privacy

(Jul 10, 2019) At a hearing at the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary Tuesday, lawmakers took testimony that criticized big tech companies for their inabilities to protect children's privacy, while the committee spoke about its disapproval, Multichannel News reports. Georgetown Law School Institute for Public Representation Communications and Technology Clinic Director and Professor Angela Campbell was one of several children's privacy advocates who testified, saying big tech's issues stem from their own b... Read More

33 organizations ask Fla. governor to halt school safety database plans

(Jul 9, 2019) The Future of Privacy Forum and 32 organizations have sent a letter to Florida Gov. Rick DeSantis calling for a "halt" to the state's proposed school safety database, according to a press release. The letter comes a month after FPF published guidance on school safety and student privacy and was prompted by a recent Education Week report on Florida's progress on the database, which would "track students who might be considered threats." The organizations wrote that the database "represents a sign... Read More

FTC considers use of disable option on YouTube ads for children's privacy

(Jul 8, 2019) The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has proposed that YouTube include a disable option for ads on certain channels to help alleviate issues the site is having with children's privacy, Bloomberg reports. FTC Chairman Joseph Simons and Republican Commissioner Noah Phillips discussed the solution on a July 1 call with two child advocacy groups, saying that adding an option to block ads would help YouTube align itself with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act. The FTC, which launched an invest... Read More

ICO investigating TikTok for handling of UK children's data

(Jul 3, 2019) U.K. Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham has confirmed an investigation into video-sharing app TikTok and its practices for handling children's data, the Guardian reports. According to Denham, her office's investigation began in February after the U.S. Federal Trade Commission fined TikTok $5.7 million for infractions related to the collection of personal information of users 13 and under. “We are looking at the transparency tools for children,” Denham said Tuesday. “We’re looking at the m... Read More