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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.
COPPA applies to personal information collected online by operators of both websites and online services.
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.
In some circumstances, this may mean that children are able to register on a site or service in violation of the operator’s Terms of Service.
Parents, consumer groups, industry members, and others that believe an operator is violating COPPA may submit complaints to the FTC through the FTC’s website, gov, or toll free number, (877) FTC-HELP.
A court can hold operators who violate the Rule liable for civil penalties of up to ,654 per violation.
Some FAQs refer to a type of document called a Statement of Basis and Purpose. The Rule also applies to websites or online services that have actual knowledge that they are collecting personal information directly from users of another website or online service directed to children.
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.
The amended Rule defines personal information to include: The amended Rule, which goes into effect on July 1, 2013, added four new categories of information to the definition of personal information.
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.
COPPA SAFE HARBOR PROGRAMS Congress enacted the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) in 1998.
Mobile applications that connect to the Internet, Internet-enabled gaming platforms, voice-over-Internet protocol services, and Internet-enabled location-based services also are online services covered by COPPA. COPPA only applies to personal information collected online children, including personal information about themselves, their parents, friends, or other persons. In enacting the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, Congress determined to apply the statute’s protections only to children under 13, recognizing that younger children are particularly vulnerable to overreaching by marketers and may not understand the safety and privacy issues created by the online collection of personal information. The Rule governs the online collection of personal information from children by a covered operator, even if children volunteer the information or are not required by the operator to input the information to participate on the webssite or service. Information about such tools is available at organizations such as and from manufacturers of several operating systems. COPPA covers operators of general audience websites or online services only where such operators have that a child under age 13 is the person providing personal information.
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.
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