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FTC Issues 'Complying With COPPA' FAQ
WASHINGTON (4/30/13)--The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has released a list of frequently asked questions (FAQ) to help the public prepare for changes to the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) requirements that are scheduled to go into effect July 1.

COPPA addresses the collection, use, and/or disclosure of personal information for children under 13 years old by websites and other online services, including credit unions that have websites and/or mobile banking applications.

The FAQs are intended for all website operators, mobile application developers, plug-ins and advertising networks operating on child-directed websites and online services, the FTC said. The document, "Complying With COPPA: Frequently Asked Questions," addresses the basics of the COPPA rule. More specific details are also provided.

The COPPA changes aim to strengthen children's privacy protections and give parents greater control over the personal information that websites and online services may collect from children under 13. The FTC said the changes are an attempt to keep up with an ever-changing technological landscape.

The changes would:

  • Modify the list of "personal information" that cannot be collected without parental notice and consent, clarifying that this category includes geo-location information, photographs, and videos;
  • Offer companies a streamlined, voluntary and transparent approval process for new ways of getting parental consent;
  • Close a loophole that allowed kid-directed apps and websites to permit third parties to collect personal information from children through plug-ins without parental notice and consent;
  • Extend coverage in some of those cases so that the third parties doing the additional collection also have to comply with COPPA;
  • Extend the COPPA Rule to cover persistent identifiers that can recognize users over time and across different websites or online services, such as IP addresses and mobile device IDs;
  • Strengthen data security protections by requiring that covered website operators and online service providers take reasonable steps to release children's personal information only to companies that are capable of keeping it secure and confidential;
  • Require that covered website operators adopt reasonable procedures for data retention and deletion; and
  • Strengthen the FTC's oversight of self-regulatory safe harbor programs.
For more on the FTC FAQ, use the resource link.
Other Resources

COPPA FAQ
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