The Federal Trade Commission recently announced its settlement with the operator of concerning allegations that the operator violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act Rule (“COPPA Rule”) by collecting personal information about children without obtaining parental consent. For Skid-e-kids, the FTC’s settlement means taking remedial measures; an injunction; and a $100,000 civil penalty. For the rest of us, the settlement is a good reminder that the FTC is staunchly committed to protecting children’s privacy. So when it comes to collecting personal information from children online, it’s important to do it right . . . or not at all.

A draft Congressional bill released Tuesday, May 3 aims enhance consumer privacy protections both online and offline and establish a national framework for the collection, use and security of consumer information, superseding state law requirements regarding the collection, use and disclosure of the information it covers. The draft legislation, sponsored by Congressmen Rick Boucher (D, Va.) and Cliff Stearns (R, Fla.), recognizes the importance of online advertising in supporting free online content and services and attempts to extend privacy protections without disruption of this business model.

According to a new, partially-published California Court of Appeal decision, there is no cause of action for invasion of privacy under the California Constitution where a plaintiff’s posting is republished in a newspaper.   In Moreno et al. v. Hanford Sentinel, Inc., et al., F054138, slip op. (Cal. Ct. App.

According to a recent federal court ruling, a telephone customer is bound by the terms of an online business’s privacy policy and terms of use to which the salesperson referred during the call. In Greer v., Inc., No. H-07-2543 (S.D. Tex. Oct. 3, 2007), the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas enforced a forum selection clause contained in the website’s terms of use against a consumer who ordered flowers for his girlfriend on the telephone. Before placing his order, the plaintiff inquired as to the company’s privacy practices and a representative referred him to the company’s online privacy policy. Plaintiff claimed he relied on this policy when he completed his order. The privacy policy clearly stated that it was part of the website’s terms of use, which the plaintiff did not read and which included a forum selection clause.