Every website, app, and all digital software "directed towards" minors must comply with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act. Its goal is to guard the identities of people under 13 online. According to the FTC's website, "The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) puts parents in control."
Generally speaking, the law requires parental consent for purchases and data collection (including tracking cookies).
All websites, plugins, apps, and software that's attractive to children under the age of 13 are subject to rules outlined in the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act. Even if you're not purposefully courting minors, the rules often still apply. Judges consider a property's advertising, design, features, the age of models, and subject matter.
Below, we'll review the ins-and-outs of the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act. If you are an established business or startup in need of COPPA compliance advice, please get in touch. If you have received notification from the Federal Trade Commission, we can take the lead on your behalf.
We've discussed COPPA's consent decree; it forces businesses to secure parental permission before collecting or storing personally identifiable data of children aged 12 and under. But what, exactly, qualifies as "personally identifiable" information? Here's a list.
COPPA requires companies to give parents "direct notice" before collecting children's personally identifiable information. So, what constitutes "direct notice"? Here's a list:
COPPA's main feature is parental consent. The law forbids digital platforms to collect personally identifying information about children under the age of 13 without consent. Specifically, businesses and websites must:
What happens when a technologically savvy kid fakes parental consent? Or worse, a criminal figure does it? The FTC advises choosing a method that's "reasonably designed in light of available technology to ensure that the person giving consent is the child's" parent or guardian. To ensure your verification methods sync with FTC standards, get in touch with an FTC defense lawyer.
What, exactly, constitutes "directed at children"?
A list of 101 COPPA no-nos doesn't exist. However, over the years, the Federal Trade Commission has given guidance on the matter. When considering a COPPA case, investigators and attorneys weigh:
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