kidSAFE Gets FTC’s COPPA Blessing
In February, the FTC green-lit the kidSAFE Seal Program as a viable safe harbor alternative under the Children’s Online Privacy Protection ACT (COPPA). The FTC ruled that kidSAFE’s platform allows for the “same or greater protections” to children as those obtained under the COPPA Rule.
COPPA Parental Consent Rules & kidSAFE
Under COPPA, websites or applications aimed at children 13 or younger must obtain parental consent before collecting and storing data. Websites must also obtain parental permission before releasing personal information.
What Is The Federal Trade Commission?
The Legislature established the FTC to keep an eye on unfair or deceptive business practices. Created in 1914, the FTC is the only federal agency that deals with both consumer protection and competition. Over the years, Congress has widened the scope of the FTC’s purview – especially when it comes to Internet law matters.
Federal legislators passed COPPA in 2000. Since then, it’s been updated several times – most recently last year. In brief, the act specifies:
- that parental consent must be obtained for any personal data from children aged 13 and under;
- the ways in which consent may be obtained; and
- the responsibilities of the website operator regarding the safety and privacy of children online.
New COPPA Provisions:
With the new provision, website operators must allow parents to view any data collected from their children. Parents can delete data but can’t otherwise change it. The FTC has also established guidelines to make it easier for website directors to comply with the new program, like requiring parents to use a credit card when establishing identity or providing a toll-free phone number that parents can use to confirm consent.
Do you have a website popular among kids? If a minor visits your page, and you collect data or track said minor with cookies — inadvertently or on purpose — and you don’t have the proper COPPA provisions in place, technically, you’re in violation of the law.
To get compliant, contact Kelly Warner Law today for a website audit. The couple hundred dollars it will cost for a COPPA lawyer to review your site is a drop in the bucket to the millions you could be fined for violating COPPA regulations. Get in touch today.