Definition & Meaning:

COPPA stands for the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, a United States federal law enacted in 1998.

It is designed to protect the privacy of children under 13 years old by restricting the collection and use of personal information from them by websites, apps, and online services.

The law requires that these platforms obtain verifiable parental consent before collecting, using, or disclosing personal information from children.

Under COPPA, websites and online services directed to children or that knowingly collect personal information from children must post a clear and comprehensive privacy policy.

This policy must detail the types of information collected, how it is used, and with whom it is shared.

Additionally, COPPA mandates that parents be provided with a direct means of reviewing their child’s personal information, the ability to revoke consent, and the ability to request the deletion of the information.

For example, a children’s gaming app must inform parents about what personal information it collects from their children, such as names, contact details, or location data.

It must then obtain consent from the parents before collecting or using this information. If the app shares the information with third parties for advertising purposes, the parents must also disclose and consent to it.

COPPA compliance is enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which has the authority to issue penalties for violations. These penalties can be significant, emphasizing the importance of compliance for businesses operating in the digital space that might attract children.

The act not only applies to businesses based in the U.S. but also to any website or online service that targets children in the U.S., making it an important consideration for global online services.

As a result, many websites and online services choose to either explicitly prohibit users under 13 years old or implement robust systems to ensure compliance with COPPA’s requirements.

In conclusion, COPPA plays an important role in safeguarding children’s online privacy, requiring websites and online services to navigate carefully through its provisions to ensure compliance.

This law impacts how personal information is collected from children, aiming to place parents in control over their children’s online activities.