On October 20, 2017, the Federal Trade Commission issued an Enforcement Policy Statement regarding the applicability of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) to the collection and use of children’s voice recordings, such as those collected when a child uses an internet-enabled device to perform a search via voice commands. The Enforcement Statement clarifies that verifiable parental consent is not required for certain such recordings.
The FTC’s COPPA rule requires, among other things, operators of commercial websites or online services directed to children to provide notice of their information practices to parents and to obtain verifiable parental consent before collecting a child’s personal information. As originally promulgated, the rule defined “personal information” to include data such as name, address, and social security number. In 2013, the FTC amended its COPPA rule to add audio files containing a child’s voice to the definition of personal information. Thus, covered operators must provide notice and obtain verifiable parental consent before “collecting” a child’s voice recording. (A covered operator is deemed to have “collected” personal information when it requests, prompts, or encourages a child to submit such information online.) Continue Reading