FTC Denies Company’s First Proposed COPPA Parental Consent Method, Seeks Public Comment on Second Proposal

The Federal Trade Commission announced that it has denied AgeCheq, Inc.’s proposed verifiable parental consent method application, which relied on existing verifiable consent methods but also utilized a third-party common consent administrator to allow for consent across multiple devices (see our discussion here). Under the FTC’s Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”) Rule, interested parties can propose and request FTC approval for additional methods for obtaining verified parental consent not presently permitted by the Rule.  In its letter to AgeCheq, the FTC explained that its denial of AgeCheq’s application was because AgeCheq’s proposed method is already recognized by the Commission “as a valid means of obtaining verifiable parental consent in the Rule, and AgeCheq is free to pursue the development of a common consent mechanism without Commission approval.” Meanwhile, the FTC announced that it is seeking public comment on a second proposed verifiable parental consent method from AgeCheq.  According to AgeCheq’s latest application, its newest proposed method would augment the traditional paper “sign and send” parental notification method for the mobile space, allowing parents to access and submit an online “sign and send” form to a third party intermediary’s online verification portal.  The FTC will accept public comments on AgeCheq’s second proposal until Dec. 17, 2014.