(a) General requirements.(1) An operator is required to obtain verifiable parental consent before any collection, use, and/or disclosure of personal information from children, including consent to any material change in the collection, use, and/or disclosure practices to which the parent has previously consented.
(2) An operator must give the parent the option to consent to the collection and use of the child's personal information without consenting to disclosure of his or her personal information to third parties.
(b) Mechanisms for verifiable parental consent.(1) An operator must make reasonable efforts to obtain verifiable parental consent, taking into consideration available technology. Any method to obtain verifiable parental consent must be reasonably calculated, in light of available technology, to ensure that the person providing consent is the child's parent.
(2) Methods to obtain verifiable parental consent that satisfy the requirements of this paragraph include: providing a consent form to be signed by the parent and returned to the operator by postal mail or facsimile; requiring a parent to use a credit card in connection with a transaction; having a parent call a toll-free telephone number staffed by trained personnel; using a digital certificate that uses public key technology; and using e-mail accompanied by a PIN or password obtained through one of the verification methods listed in this paragraph. Provided that: Until the Commission otherwise determines, methods to obtain verifiable parental consent for uses of information other than the “disclosures” defined by § 312.2 may also include use of e-mail coupled with additional steps to provide assurances that the person providing the consent is the parent. Such additional steps include: sending a confirmatory e-mail to the parent following receipt of consent; or obtaining a postal address or telephone number from the parent and confirming the parent's consent by letter or telephone call. Operators who use such methods must provide notice that the parent can revoke any consent given in response to the earlier e-mail.
(c) Exceptions to prior parental consent. Verifiable parental consent is required prior to any collection, use and/or disclosure of personal information from a child except as set forth in this paragraph. The exceptions to prior parental consent are as follows:
(1) Where the operator collects the name or online contact information of a parent or child to be used for the sole purpose of obtaining parental consent or providing notice under § 312.4. If the operator has not obtained parental consent after a reasonable time from the date of the information collection, the operator must delete such information from its records;
(2) Where the operator collects online contact information from a child for the sole purpose of responding directly on a one-time basis to a specific request from the child, and where such information is not used to recontact the child and is deleted by the operator from its records;
(3) Where the operator collects online contact information from a child to be used to respond directly more than once to a specific request from the child, and where such information is not used for any other purpose. In such cases, the operator must make reasonable efforts, taking into consideration available technology, to ensure that a parent receives notice and has the opportunity to request that the operator make no further use of the information, as described in § 312.4(c), immediately after the initial response and before making any additional response to the child. Mechanisms to provide such notice include, but are not limited to, sending the notice by postal mail or sending the notice to the parent's e-mail address, but do not include asking a child to print a notice form or sending an e-mail to the child;
(4) Where the operator collects a child's name and online contact information to the extent reasonably necessary to protect the safety of a child participant on the website or online service, and the operator uses reasonable efforts to provide a parent notice as described in § 312.4(c), where such information is:
(i) Used for the sole purpose of protecting the child's safety;
(ii) Not used to recontact the child or for any other purpose;
(iii) Not disclosed on the website or online service; and
(5) Where the operator collects a child's name and online contact information and such information is not used for any other purpose, to the extent reasonably necessary:
(i) To protect the security or integrity of its website or online service;
(ii) To take precautions against liability;
(iii) To respond to judicial process; or
(iv) To the extent permitted under other provisions of law, to provide information to law enforcement agencies or for an investigation on a matter related to public safety.