By July, Facebook, Google, Tumblr and others will likely be forced to remove photos, audio recordings or other personal identifiers of children — or else face stiff fines, thanks to updates to a 15-year-old law.
The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) was enacted in 1998. In 2011, the FTC beefed up the measure, preventing sites from collecting personal information from kids such as name, location and date of birth without a parent's consent.
This July, new amendments for kids under 13 will go into effect, approved by the FTC in December. The rules are targeted at sites that market specifically to kids. However, even a site like Facebook could be fined for allowing minors to post self-portraits, audio recordings of their voice, and images with geo-location data.
There are also new restrictions on tracking data, with cookies or a unique identifier that follow registrants from one site to another.