Devices Can Collect Kids’ Commands Without Consent: FTC

Law360, New York (October 24, 2017, 5:54 PM EDT) -- The Federal Trade Commission said Monday it will allow makers of voice-activated devices to collect children’s commands without parental consent, in a move requested by companies and greeted by privacy advocates with cautious optimism.

Interactive virtual assistants, toys and smartwatches are now free under the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act to collect audio files from kids without consent, so long as the child is speaking solely “as a replacement for written words,” like performing a search, and the file is immediately deleted, the FTC said Monday in an enforcement policy statement.

The federal agency specified that the devices cannot respond to...

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