Save the Children! COPPA Compliance Tips.

Being a kid is hard.  When I was little, I was told “don’t talk to strangers” and “stay out of the woods at night.”  But with the advent of the internet, stranger danger is just a click away, and the woods are the entire web.  That’s why, a few years ago, the FTC implemented COPPA, a law that protects the online personal information of children under age 13.

The FTC has now provided an online guide to help businesses comply with COPPA.  The guide addresses not only your obligations with respect to the kiddos, but also your obligations re the rights of parents.

If your website or online service might attract children (e.g. it includes video games, music, and other multimedia fun) you should definitely make sure you’re COPPA compliant.  Not sure whether you need to worry about this?  Check out the COPPA six step compliance guide here.   A recap of the steps are below!

Step 1: DETERMINE IF YOUR COMPANY IS A WEBSITE OR ONLINE SERVICE THAT COLLECTS PERSONAL INFORMATION FROM KIDS UNDER 13.

Step 2: POST A PRIVACY POLICY THAT COMPLIES WITH COPPA.

Step 3: NOTIFY PARENTS DIRECTLY ABOUT YOUR INFORMATION PRACTICES BEFORE COLLECTING PERSONAL INFORMATION FROM THEIR KIDS.

Step 4: GET PARENTS’ VERIFIABLE CONSENT BEFORE COLLECTING PERSONAL INFORMATION FROM THEIR KIDS.

Step 5: HONOR PARENTS’ ONGOING RIGHTS WITH RESPECT TO PERSONAL INFORMATION COLLECTED FROM THEIR KIDS.

Step 6: IMPLEMENT REASONABLE PROCEDURES TO PROTECT THE SECURITY OF KIDS’ PERSONAL INFORMATION.

Oh, and don’t go in the woods at night.  Drink plenty of water.  Wear sunscreen.  Leave the yellow snow alone.

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