A lot has been happening on the COPPA front. A few years ago, the FTC announced it was taking a fresh look at the Children's Online Privacy Protection Rule to make sure it was keeping up with the times. Hundreds attended a national workshop to offer their candid assessment of what could be done to improve the Rule. Then came more than 400 written comments from consumer groups, industry, educators, and parents. You suggested sensible steps to keep Moms and Dads in the driver's seat about the information companies collect from their kids online while also streamlining compliance for businesses.
Last December, the FTC issued the new COPPA Rule and gave companies six months — until July 1, 2013 — to comply. Since then, savvy businesses have been reading the Rule to make sure their practices are up to speed. You’ve had questions, so today the FTC staff is offering the latest in an ongoing (and growing) document designed to address what companies have been talking about. The name, Complying with COPPA: Frequently Asked Questions (A Guide for Business and Parents and Small Entity Compliance Guide), may not be the snappiest, so COPPA mavens just call it the FAQs.
They've had a format make-over, but the FAQs have been around for years and are revised periodically to cover your COPPA questions. Although they're not officially binding on the Commission, the FAQs offer an FTC staff take on practical issues — everything from who’s covered and what they need to do to disclosing your information practices clearly and getting effective parental consent.
If this is the first you've heard of the FAQs, read them for a nuts-and-bolts perspective on COPPA. If you're already a COPPA ace, now's the time to check out what’s new in advance of July 1st.
Have questions the FAQs don’t address? Email us at CoppaHotLine@ftc.gov. Check back regularly as we add to this living, breathing document and publish more information to help streamline COPPA compliance. Be sure to bookmark the FTC's COPPA page for businesses to keep up on the latest.