What Is COPPA?
The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) provides safeguards to protect children's privacy on the Internet by regulating the collection of personal information from children under age 13.
COPPA was signed into law on October 21, 1998. The Children's Online Privacy Protection Rule that implements COPPA was developed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and takes effect April 21, 2000.
The Federal Trade Commission oversees compliance with COPPA and is responsible for its enforcement.
What are Web sites required to do?
COPPA requires certain commercial Web sites to get permission from parents before collecting, using, or disclosing personal information from children under 13. This applies to Web sites and online services that are targeted to or know they are collecting data from children under 13. Before collecting information, Web sites must notify and obtain verifiable parental consent. COPPA covers all personal information collected after April 21, 2000, regardless of any prior relationship an operator has had with a child.
What Web sites are covered by COPPA?
Web sites and online services covered by COPPA are those that are targeted to or know they are collecting data from children under 13. To determine if a Web site is targeted to children, the FTC considers the subject matter, visual or audio content, age of models, language or other characteristics of the Web site or online service, as well as whether advertising promoting or appearing on the Web site or online service is directed to children. Other considerations include reliable evidence about who the actual or intended audience is and whether a site uses animated characters and/or child-oriented activities and incentives.
To learn more about COPPA and the FTC's campaign to increase protection of child privacy on the Internet, please see the FTC's KidzPrivacy Web site.