FTC Considers Facial Recognition Parental Consent Method Under COPPA Rule

Davis Wright Tremaine LLP
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The Federal Trade Commission announced on July 31 that it is seeking public comment on a new verifiable parental consent method application submitted by Riyo under the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) Rule. If approved by the FTC, Riyo’s proposed mechanism would allow entities to obtain verifiable parental consent through a two-step facial recognition process.

Under the FTC’s COPPA Rule, websites and online services that collect personal information online from children under 13 must obtain verifiable parental consent authorizing the collection, use and/or disclosure of a minor’s information. The Rule also specifies several methods of gaining parental consent, and allows parties to submit and seek FTC approval of additional means for obtaining consent not currently permitted by the Rule.

According to Riyo’s application, its proposed consent method would first require a parent to capture an image of his or her photo identification via a smartphone or computer camera. The parent would later provide verifiable parental consent by taking a selfie, which would then be compared against the photo identification image provided earlier. Riyo claims its process would not upload to or rely on third party databases to verify information.

The FTC will accept public comments on Riyo’s proposal until September 3, 2015.

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