16 CFR 312.2 - Definitions.

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§ 312.2 Definitions.

Child means an individual under the age of 13.

Collects or collection means the gathering of any personal information from a child by any means, including but not limited to:

(1) Requesting, prompting, or encouraging a child to submit personal information online;

(2) Enabling a child to make personal information publicly available in identifiable form. An operator shall not be considered to have collected personal information under this paragraph if it takes reasonable measures to delete all or virtually all personal information from a child's postings before they are made public and also to delete such information from its records; or

(3) Passive tracking of a child online.

Commission means the Federal Trade Commission.

Delete means to remove personal information such that it is not maintained in retrievable form and cannot be retrieved in the normal course of business.

Disclose or disclosure means, with respect to personal information:

(1) The release of personal information collected by an operator from a child in identifiable form for any purpose, except where an operator provides such information to a person who provides support for the internal operations of the Web site or online service; and

(2) Making personal information collected by an operator from a child publicly available in identifiable form by any means, including but not limited to a public posting through the Internet, or through a personal home page or screen posted on a Web site or online service; a pen pal service; an electronic mail service; a message board; or a chat room.

Federal agency means an agency, as that term is defined in Section 551(1) of title 5, United States Code.

Internet means collectively the myriad of computer and telecommunications facilities, including equipment and operating software, which comprise the interconnected world-wide network of networks that employ the Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol, or any predecessor or successor protocols to such protocol, to communicate information of all kinds by wire, radio, or other methods of transmission.

Obtaining verifiable consent means making any reasonable effort (taking into consideration available technology) to ensure that before personal information is collected from a child, a parent of the child:

(1) Receives notice of the operator's personal information collection, use, and disclosure practices; and

(2) Authorizes any collection, use, and/or disclosure of the personal information.

Online contact information means an email address or any other substantially similar identifier that permits direct contact with a person online, including but not limited to, an instant messaging user identifier, a voice over internet protocol (VOIP) identifier, or a video chat user identifier.

Operator means any person who operates a Web site located on the Internet or an online service and who collects or maintains personal information from or about the users of or visitors to such Web site or online service, or on whose behalf such information is collected or maintained, or offers products or services for sale through that Web site or online service, where such Web site or online service is operated for commercial purposes involving commerce among the several States or with 1 or more foreign nations; in any territory of the United States or in the District of Columbia, or between any such territory and another such territory or any State or foreign nation; or between the District of Columbia and any State, territory, or foreign nation. This definition does not include any nonprofit entity that would otherwise be exempt from coverage under Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act (15 U.S.C. 45). Personal information is collected or maintained on behalf of an operator when:

(1) It is collected or maintained by an agent or service provider of the operator; or

(2) The operator benefits by allowing another person to collect personal information directly from users of such Web site or online service.

Parent includes a legal guardian.

Person means any individual, partnership, corporation, trust, estate, cooperative, association, or other entity.

Personal information means individually identifiable information about an individual collected online, including:

(1) A first and last name;

(2) A home or other physical address including street name and name of a city or town;

(3) Online contact information as defined in this section;

(4) A screen or user name where it functions in the same manner as online contact information, as defined in this section;

(5) A telephone number;

(6) A Social Security number;

(7) A persistent identifier that can be used to recognize a user over time and across different Web sites or online services. Such persistent identifier includes, but is not limited to, a customer number held in a cookie, an Internet Protocol (IP) address, a processor or device serial number, or unique device identifier;

(8) A photograph, video, or audio file where such file contains a child's image or voice;

(9) Geolocation information sufficient to identify street name and name of a city or town; or

(10) Information concerning the child or the parents of that child that the operator collects online from the child and combines with an identifier described in this definition.

Release of personal information means the sharing, selling, renting, or transfer of personal information to any third party.

Support for the internal operations of the Web site or online service means:

(1) Those activities necessary to:

(i) Maintain or analyze the functioning of the Web site or online service;

(ii) Perform network communications;

(iii) Authenticate users of, or personalize the content on, the Web site or online service;

(iv) Serve contextual advertising on the Web site or online service or cap the frequency of advertising;

(v) Protect the security or integrity of the user, Web site, or online service;

(vi) Ensure legal or regulatory compliance; or

(vii) Fulfill a request of a child as permitted by § 312.5(c)(3) and (4);

(2) So long as The information collected for the activities listed in paragraphs (1)(i)-(vii) of this definition is not used or disclosed to contact a specific individual, including through behavioral advertising, to amass a profile on a specific individual, or for any other purpose.

Third party means any person who is not:

(1) An operator with respect to the collection or maintenance of personal information on the Web site or online service; or

(2) A person who provides support for the internal operations of the Web site or online service and who does not use or disclose information protected under this part for any other purpose.

Web site or online service directed to children means a commercial Web site or online service, or portion thereof, that is targeted to children.

(1) In determining whether a Web site or online service, or a portion thereof, is directed to children, the Commission will consider its subject matter, visual content, use of animated characters or child-oriented activities and incentives, music or other audio content, age of models, presence of child celebrities or celebrities who appeal to children, language or other characteristics of the Web site or online service, as well as whether advertising promoting or appearing on the Web site or online service is directed to children. The Commission will also consider competent and reliable empirical evidence regarding audience composition, and evidence regarding the intended audience.

(2) A Web site or online service shall be deemed directed to children when it has actual knowledge that it is collecting personal information directly from users of another Web site or online service directed to children.

(3) A Web site or online service that is directed to children under the criteria set forth in paragraph (1) of this definition, but that does not target children as its primary audience, shall not be deemed directed to children if it:

(i) Does not collect personal information from any visitor prior to collecting age information; and

(ii) Prevents the collection, use, or disclosure of personal information from visitors who identify themselves as under age 13 without first complying with the notice and parental consent provisions of this part.

(4) A Web site or online service shall not be deemed directed to children solely because it refers or links to a commercial Web site or online service directed to children by using information location tools, including a directory, index, reference, pointer, or hypertext link.

This is a list of United States Code sections, Statutes at Large, Public Laws, and Presidential Documents, which provide rulemaking authority for this CFR Part.

This list is taken from the Parallel Table of Authorities and Rules provided by GPO [Government Printing Office].

It is not guaranteed to be accurate or up-to-date, though we do refresh the database weekly. More limitations on accuracy are described at the GPO site.


United States Code
U.S. Code: Title 15 - COMMERCE AND TRADE

Title 16 published on 2015-01-01

The following are ALL rules, proposed rules, and notices (chronologically) published in the Federal Register relating to 16 CFR Part 312 after this date.

  • 2015-09-04; vol. 80 # 172 - Friday, September 4, 2015
    1. 80 FR 53482 - Children's Online Privacy Protection Rule Proposed Parental Consent Method; Jest8 Limited Trading as Riyo's Application for Approval of Parental Consent Method; Extension of Comment Period
      GPO FDSys XML | Text
      FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION
      Extension of comment period.
      Written comments on the request for public comment published August 7, 2015 (80 FR 47429) must be received on or before September 14, 2015.
      16 CFR Part 312