The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 [“COPPA”] is a federal law set up to provide the parameters under which online operators can and cannot collect information from children under 13 years of age in the United States. COPPA compliance can be challenging and frustrating, but is a must if you target this audience or know kids are using your offerings.
At COPPALawAttorney.com, we provide you with compliance guidance and answers to your questions on this legislation. The FTC can seek penalties as high as $40,000 per child you collect information from in violation of COPPA, so you should take compliance very seriously. Past COPPA settlements include:
- Playdom – a Disney subsidiary – $3 million.
- Bieber fan site – $1 million.
- Path app – $800,00.
- Yelp – $400,000.
- Kids app game developer – $300,000.
In each of these settlements, the FTC also required the defendants to submit to a 20-year audit process. Consider that horror – the FTC exploring your business records for the next 20 years.
COPPA compliance requires a number of steps:
- Determine if compliance is required, and if so, to what extent;
- Review and modification of language used on your online property and in marketing pieces;
- Review and modification of account registration process;
- Review and modification of your privacy policies and terms to incorporate required disclosures;
- Selection of parental consent verification process;
- Creation of customized disclosures to parents reflecting your information collection practices;
- Creation of document storage process with chain of custody in place; and
- Scheduled audits to verify compliance processes are being followed.
We analyze websites, apps, and online properties to determine if COPPA compliance is necessary. If it is, we walk you through the steps necessary to establish compliance and provide the necessary documentation. If compliance is not necessary, we provide direction and revised site documents that can help minimize the chance of kids under 13 using your site in a manner that will raise the ire of the FTC.
We also provide a second service many online operators are desperate for – answers to your questions on COPPA. Few attorneys specialize in this law. We do.
If you’ve made it this far, it is time to take the next step. Contact us today for a free initial consultation.
Richard A. Chapo, Esq.