23 Jun 2023

Understanding and complying with COPPA regulations

COPPA (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act) is an important law aimed at protecting children in the online environment. It was enacted in the United States in 1998 and regulates the collection, use, and disclosure of personal information of children under the age of 13. COPPA holds significant importance for the internet industry and parents as it provides additional security measures and privacy protections for children.

The primary goal of COPPA is to prevent the collection of children’s personal information without explicit consent and notification from their parents or guardians. According to this law, operators of websites or online services intended for children under 13 years of age must obtain parental consent before collecting, using, or disclosing any personal information of the child. This includes data such as name, address, email, phone number, and other identifying information.

Website and online service operators subject to COPPA must provide parents with a clear and understandable privacy policy that describes what information is collected, how it is used and disclosed, as well as what measures are taken to protect the privacy of children’s data. They must also provide parents with the opportunity to view, modify, or delete the collected information about their children.

Compliance with COPPA is mandatory for all website and online service operators targeted towards children under 13 years old, as well as those knowingly collecting information from such children. Violations of COPPA can result in serious legal consequences, including fines and penalties.

In recent years, COPPA has received increased attention as the use of the internet and online services by children has become more prevalent. Many websites, applications, and platforms have been modified or adapted to comply with this law. Parents have also become more aware of the rights and safety of their children in the online environment.

It is important for parents and guardians to be vigilant and informed about COPPA. They should educate their children about internet safety rules and monitor the websites and applications they use. If parents need to provide consent for the collection of information about their children, they should be cautious and ensure the reliability and safety of such websites or services.

In conclusion, COPPA plays a crucial role in protecting the privacy and safety of children in the online environment. It requires website and online service operators to adhere to strict rules regarding the collection and use of personal information of children under 13 years old. Parents, in turn, need to be aware of the rights and safety of their children and actively participate in ensuring their protection in the online environment.