The Federal Trade Commission has released a new policy enforcement statement in regards to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). The statement focuses just on how this act applies to audio recordings of children that are taken by apps, toys, and other things. It seems that the FTC felt this update was necessary given the rapid growth of voice recognition, including voice search and other applications.
In their statement, they stated that as long as an application or web-enabled device that takes recordings of a child’s voice in place of a written input follows the guidelines, it is acceptable. These guidelines essentially say that the recording of the voice should only be kept as long as it is necessary to complete the tasks at hand. In most cases, this would only be momentarily.
This should really be seen more as a clarification than any type of change from the FTC. It would appear that they were questioned about this type of situation, and wanted to make sure that those who develop apps, sites, toys, and other things for children were clear on what was permitted when it comes to taking voice input from children.