The first thing you should do is read the FTC’s Children’s Privacy guidance materials.If, after reviewing the FTC’s online materials, you continue to have specific COPPA questions, please send an email to our COPPA hotline at Coppa Hot [email protected] You also may call our toll free telephone number, (877) FTC-HELP, to submit your complaint to a live operator.
A Statement of Basis and Purpose is a document an agency issues when it promulgates or amends a rule, explaining the rule’s provisions and addressing comments received in the rulemaking process. Operators covered by the Rule must: The Rule applies to operators of commercial websites and online services (including mobile apps) directed to children under 13 that collect, use, or disclose personal information from children.
A Statement of Basis and Purpose was issued when the COPPA Rule was promulgated in 1999, and another Statement of Basis and Purpose was issued when the Rule was revised in 2012. It also applies to operators of general audience websites or online services with actual knowledge that they are collecting, using, or disclosing personal information from children under 13.
However, the Commission’s 1999 Statement of Basis and Purpose notes that the Commission expects that operators will keep confidential 64 Fed. Although COPPA does not apply to teenagers, the FTC is concerned about teen privacy and does believe that strong, more flexible, protections may be appropriate for this age group. The Rule also covers operators that allow children publicly to post personal information. The Rule does not require operators to ask the age of visitors.
FTC Report: Protecting Consumer Privacy in an Era of Rapid Change: Recommendations for Businesses and Policymakers (Mar. The FTC also has issued a number of guidance documents for teens and their parents. Finally, as the FTC made clear in the amended Rule, the passive tracking of children’s personal information through a persistent identifier, and not just its active collection, also is covered by COPPA. However, an operator of a general audience site or service that chooses to screen its users for age in a neutral fashion may rely on the age information its users enter, even if that age information is not accurate.
A court can hold operators who violate the Rule liable for civil penalties of up to $40,654 per violation.
The amount of civil penalties a court assesses may turn on a number of factors, including the egregiousness of the violations, whether the operator has previously violated the Rule, the number of children involved, the amount and type of personal information collected, how the information was used, whether it was shared with third parties, and the size of the company. In addition, certain federal agencies, such as the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Department of Transportation, are responsible for handling COPPA compliance for the specific industries they regulate.
This document represents the views of FTC staff and is not binding on the Commission. PARENTAL ACCESS TO CHILDREN’S PERSONAL INFORMATIONK. The Commission issued an amended Rule on December 19, 2012. The primary goal of COPPA is to place parents in control over what information is collected from their young children online.
To view the Rule and compliance materials, go to the FTC's COPPA page for businesses. GENERAL AUDIENCE, TEEN, AND MIXED-AUDIENCE SITES OR SERVICESH. The Rule was designed to protect children under age 13 while accounting for the dynamic nature of the Internet.
The following FAQs are intended to supplement the compliance materials available on the FTC website. COPPA required the Federal Trade Commission to issue and enforce regulations concerning children’s online privacy.
In addition, you may send questions or comments to the FTC staff’s COPPA mailbox, Coppa Hot [email protected] The Commission’s original COPPA Rule became effective on April 21, 2000.
Below we address, for each new category of personal information, an operator’s obligations regarding use or disclosure of previously collected information that will be deemed personal information once the amended Rule goes into effect: As discussed in additional FAQs below, the amendments to the Rule help to ensure that COPPA continues to meet its originally stated goals to minimize the collection of personal information from children and create a safer, more secure online experience for them, even as online technologies, and children’s uses of such technologies, evolve.