NEW YORK: The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has extended the deadline for considering an application from the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) and two other companies for a new mechanism for obtaining parental consent under the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act Rule (COPPA). The extension is for 120 days, and the ESRB currently operates a COPPA safe harbor program.
The application submitted in June 2023 seeks approval for the use of “Privacy-Protective Facial Age Estimation” technology, which analyzes the geometry of a user’s face to confirm that they are an adult. As required by the COPPA Rule, the FTC sought comments on the application in July and received over 350 comments. The Commission has extended the deadline, which was October 2, 2023, to ensure it can adequately review the comments it received on the proposal.
The Commission voted 3-0 to extend the deadline to review the ESRB application. The FTC works to promote competition and protect and educate consumers. Consumers can learn more about consumer topics at consumer.ftc.gov, or report fraud, scams, and bad business practices at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.
The extension of the deadline for the ESRB application is significant as it highlights the importance of protecting children’s online privacy. The use of facial recognition technology to confirm the age of users is a novel approach that could have far-reaching implications for online safety. The FTC’s decision to extend the deadline shows that it is taking the issue seriously and is committed to ensuring that the COPPA Rule is enforced.
In conclusion, the FTC’s decision to extend the deadline for the ESRB application is a positive step toward protecting children’s online privacy. The use of facial recognition technology to confirm the age of users is an innovative approach that could have significant benefits for online safety. The FTC’s commitment to enforcing the COPPA Rule is commendable, and consumers can rest assured that their online privacy is being taken seriously.