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App Developers Alliance Responds to New Rules Concerning Children’s Data Online

FTC Could Drive Entrepreneurs from the Children’s App Market 
Washington, D.C. (December 19, 2012) – Today, the Application Developers Alliance responded to the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC’s) final rule for implementing the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).
“App developers agree with the Federal Trade Commission that children’s data must be protected online. However, we are deeply concerned that the new regulations will be so expensive to implement and create so much risk that talented and responsible developers will abandon the children’s app marketplace.
“The rule should strike a balance. If it causes kids to miss out on innovative educational tools and entertaining content for only a nominal increase in online privacy, the rule will fail to achieve Congress’s balanced intent, which is to protect children online while also ensuring that new content is produced and made available,” said Jon Potter, President of the Application Developers Alliance.
The Alliance is concerned that the final COPPA rule will drive entrepreneurs out of the children’s app marketplace because it:
  • Makes compliance so difficult for third party partners, like ad networks, that it will no longer be worthwhile for them to work with children’s apps.
  • Extends COPPA liability to app developers that do not collect personally identifiable information.
  • Extends the definition of personally identifiable information, which has historically been assigned to information like phone numbers and social security numbers, to device IDs.
  • Treats apps differently than websites.
The Application Developers Alliance filed comments with the FTC in September, agreeing that app publishers should treat children’s data with the same care that is required of websites but urging the FTC to not extend COPPA liability to parties that do not collect or use children’s personally identifiable information.
About The Application Developers Alliance
The Application Developers Alliance is an industry association dedicated to meeting the unique needs of application developers as creators, innovators, and entrepreneurs. Alliance members include more than 18,000 individual application developers and dozens of companies, investors, and stakeholders in the apps ecosystem.

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