Everything You Need To Know About COPPA

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COPPA is a law that protects children under 13 years of age from the invasion of their privacy. Children's Online Privacy Protection Act was enacted in 1998, and it requires website

Michael Gargiulo - CEO, VPN.com

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In today’s digital age, protecting children’s online privacy has become an essential aspect of responsible internet usage. The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) plays a crucial role in achieving this. Established in 1998, COPPA ensures stringent protection for the personal information of children under the age of 13, safeguarding them from malicious online activities and unscrupulous marketing practices.

The act mandates that all relevant websites and online service providers obtain verifiable parental consent before collecting any data from minors. Complying with COPPA has become a non-negotiable responsibility among businesses operating online, as non-compliance can lead to severe penalties imposed by the Federal Trade Commission.

The constant adherence to the COPPA framework not only guarantees enhanced security measures for our younger generation but also helps in nurturing a safer digital environment for everyone.

COPPA And Children’s Online Privacy

In 1998, COPPA was one of the earliest online privacy legislation. COPPA, abbreviation for the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, governs how websites can collect data from children under 13. This privacy protection act requires websites to acquire parental agreement before collecting child data and post a privacy policy that explains what data is collected and how it will be used.

One of the most important regulations protecting children’s internet privacy is the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, which was revised in 2013. This privacy protection act safeguards children from being monitored or spammed by websites and prevents their personal information from being gathered without their parents’ agreement. On VPN.com, you may find family internet safety guidelines and practises for privacy.

COPPA Requirements For Websites

When Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act was first enacted in 1998, the internet was a very different place than it is today. Back then, Facebook and Twitter were still in their infancy, and most people used the internet for research or to communicate with friends and family. COPPA was enacted in response to the increasing use of the internet by children, and it requires that websites that collect information from children under 13 years of age must get parental consent before doing so.

In addition to getting parental consent, Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act also requires that these websites post a privacy policy that outlines the types of information collected and how it will be used. This is important because it gives parents a clear understanding of what information is being collected from their children, and it allows them to make an informed decision about whether or not they want their children to use a particular website.

It is an important law that protects children’s online privacy, and it’s something that all parents should be aware of. If you have any questions about this privacy protection act, or if you’re concerned about your child’s online privacy, you can contact the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-FTC-HELP.

What Is Considered “Personal Information” Under COPPA?

Under the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), “personal information” constitutes specific details about an individual that can be used to identify them. This can include their full name, home or other physical address, email address, and contact number. It also encompasses sensitive data like social security numbers or other government-issued identification codes.

Moreover, COPPA considers persistent identifiers like cookies or IP addresses as personal information because these markers can be employed to recognize users and their digital activities over a period. However, it is essential to understand that not all types of information fall into the personal information category under COPPA.

For instance, anonymized data, general demographic data, and certain types of user-generated content may not be deemed personal information, primarily if it doesn’t contain identifiable details or couldn’t be easily traced back to an individual.

COPPA Requirements For Website And Online Service Operators

Understanding and adhering to the COPPA requirements is crucial for website and online service operators who cater to children under the age of 13. To comply with these regulations, operators must obtain verifiable parental consent before collecting any personal information from children.

Additionally, they need to post a clear and comprehensive privacy policy outlining how information collected from children is used and shared. Providing notice to parents about their rights regarding their child’s personal information is also essential. Operators should make it accessible for parents to review and delete their child’s information whenever they wish.

Ensuring the confidentiality, security, and integrity of collected information is of the utmost importance, which means implementing stringent data protection measures. Another vital aspect is to acquire consent from parents before sharing their child’s data with third parties.

To adhere to COPPA requirements, operators can employ various strategies, such as utilizing two-factor authentication to verify parental consent or using secure encryption methods for data storage and transfer. By observing these guidelines, operators can not only protect children’s privacy but also cultivate trust with their user base and avoid potential legal ramifications.

Obtaining Verifiable Parental Consent

Obtaining verifiable parental consent is a crucial and necessary step when gathering personal information from children under the age of 13. This requirement ensures that parents are aware of and approve the collection of their child’s data, safeguarding the child’s privacy and security.

To meet this requirement, businesses and organizations can use various acceptable methods such as email confirmation, where parents receive a notification email from which they can confirm their consent, or credit card verification, in which the parent must provide their credit card information to validate their identity.

Best practices for ensuring easily verifiable consent includes making consent forms clear, concise, and simple to understand, as well as using secure and reliable methods for parents to confirm their permission.

By following these guidelines, businesses and organizations can confidently collect information from children while respecting the crucial role that parents play in guarding their children’s safety and privacy.

Posting A Clear And Comprehensive Privacy Policy

Posting a clear and comprehensive privacy policy is not only a legal requirement for websites and apps collecting personal information, but also a crucial factor in establishing trust with users.

Parents, in particular, are interested in understanding how their child’s data is collected, used, and shared, especially in compliance with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).

A COPPA-compliant privacy policy should be transparent and detail the third-party service providers involved in data collection, processing, and sharing. It should also specify how parents can access, review, and delete their child’s information, ensuring they have control over their child’s online presence.

To make privacy policies more user-friendly and accessible, it’s essential to use straightforward language that avoids legal jargon, ensuring that all visitors can easily comprehend the information.

Organizing the content with clear headings and subtitles makes it simpler for parents to find the specific details they’re looking for while providing an easily accessible link to the policy on the website or app ensures transparency.

Ultimately, a well-crafted privacy policy establishes a strong foundation for trust between the user and the organization, fostering a safe and secure digital environment for children to explore.

Providing Notice To Parents

In today’s digital age, it has become increasingly important for websites and online services to prioritize user privacy, especially when it comes to handling personal information of children. One crucial aspect of this is informing parents about the collection and usage of their child’s personal information, providing them with an opportunity to opt out of such practices.

Clear, comprehensive privacy policies are essential in fostering a transparent and trustworthy online experience. To ensure that parents are adequately informed, website and online service operators should consider offering notice via easily accessible methods such as email or direct mail. It is also important to employ best practices for making the notice clear and conspicuous, highlighting essential information and using simple, easy-to-understand language.

Ultimately, the responsibility lies with the website or online service operator to ensure that these privacy policies are not only well-crafted, but also effectively communicated to parents, thereby empowering them to make informed decisions about their child’s online activities.

Allowing Parents To Review And Delete Information

In today’s digital age, it’s essential for organizations and websites to post a clear and comprehensive privacy policy, particularly when it comes to handling children’s personal information. Parents must be granted the ability to review and delete their child’s data, ensuring that their child’s privacy is protected and maintained.

To facilitate this process, companies can offer several methods that allow easy access to personal information: online account management tools or email requests, for instance. Both options enable swift, secure access to relevant data.

Furthermore, adopting best practices, such as implementing multiple security measures, strong authentication protocols, and user-friendly navigation, will ensure that parents can efficiently manage, review, and delete their child’s information without compromising security.

In doing so, organizations and websites will not only foster trust among parents and users but also comply with the principles of transparency and accountability.

Maintaining The Confidentiality, Security, And Integrity Of Information

The protection of children’s personal information is a critical aspect of maintaining the confidentiality, security, and integrity of information collected from this vulnerable population. This includes ensuring that organizations and individuals alike adhere to strict data protection practices, such as encryption and access controls, to prevent unauthorized access and potential misuse of sensitive data.

As part of this effort, it is crucial that any third-party service providers enlisted to handle or store this information also uphold similar levels of security and privacy standards. Furthermore, the concept of data minimization plays a significant role in realizing this objective, as it limits the range of data collected to only what is needed for the intended purpose.

This approach, coupled with the conscious deletion of personal information once it is no longer necessary, helps in reducing the risk of data breaches and unauthorized exposure of children’s private information, ultimately safeguarding their rights and well-being in an increasingly digital world.

Obtaining Consent Before Sharing Information With Third Parties

In the digital era, safeguarding the privacy and personal information of children has never been more important. One critical aspect of this is obtaining verifiable parental consent before sharing any collected data from children with third-party service providers.

As per the guidelines laid down by COPPA (The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act), sharing refers not only to providing access to personal information but also the act of enlisting the assistance of third-party service providers that may handle personal information on behalf of the entity.

To ensure compliance with COPPA, it is essential that businesses adopt relevant measures to verify that their third-party partners are also adherent to these privacy requirements.

Some effective methods for acquiring consent to share information include using a separate consent form specific to third-party data sharing, or incorporating a transparent checkbox within the privacy policy. By taking these precautions, businesses can minimize the risks associated with privacy breaches and provide better protection for children’s online data.

How To Comply With COPPA Guidelines?

Comply COPPA guidelines to ensure privacy

If you’re a website owner or operator, here are some tips on how to comply with Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act guidelines:

– Get parental consent before collecting information from children under 13 years of age

– Post a privacy policy that outlines the types of information collected and how it will be used

– Protect the privacy of children by not sharing their information with third parties without parental consent

– Comply with Federal Trade Commission regulations and enforcement actions

If you have any questions about Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act compliance, you can contact the FTC at 1-877-FTC-HELP.

Who Must Comply With COPPA?

The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) plays a crucial role in safeguarding the privacy of young internet users by targeting specific types of websites and online services that must adhere to its regulations.

One key group required to comply with COPPA consists of operators of websites or online services that collect personal information from children under the age of 13.

This means that any online platform intentionally targeting children or having the knowledge that it collects personal data from young users must follow the stringent set of rules outlined in COPPA.

Additionally, third-party services that collect personal information on behalf of websites or online service operators are also bound by the regulations. Examples of websites and online services that must comply with COPPA include popular children’s gaming platforms, educational websites, mobile apps geared toward young audiences, and social media sites that allow users under the age of 13 to register.

COPPA Compliance And Enforcement

COPPA, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, is a crucial law aimed at protecting the privacy of children under the age of 13 when they engage with online services. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) plays a pivotal role in enforcing COPPA compliance by investigating and taking necessary legal actions against companies that fail to adhere to the requirements stipulated by the law.

Non-compliance can lead to severe consequences, including hefty fines and possible legal action. In recent years, the FTC has highly publicized COPPA enforcement actions such as the massive $170-million fine levied against YouTube for illegally collecting personal information from minors.

To avoid being caught in COPPA violations, companies must stay up-to-date with the latest regulations, offer straightforward privacy notices, implement a sound parental permission process, and maintain a strong data security system. By prioritizing child privacy protection, businesses can ensure COPPA compliance and avoid any negative repercussions from the FTC.

Best Practices For Protecting Children’s Online Privacy

In this digital age, protecting children’s online privacy has become a pressing concern for all stakeholders, including website and online service operators. Employing a multitude of robust strategies is necessary to guide their young audience towards a secure and informative online journey.

Incorporating age gates and other tools can offer a first line of defense by restricting children’s access to potentially inappropriate content. However, diligent safeguards don’t stop there. Implementing strong data security practices to protect personal information is also critical, as it assures parents that their children’s confidential details remain secure.

Equally important is the proactive education of both children and their parents on online privacy and safety, empowering them to make informed decisions about the digital sphere they comfortably inhabit. By integrating these best practices, we can ensure that the vast digital landscape remains a thriving, yet safe arena for our future generations to explore.

Minimizing The Collection Of Personal Information

In today’s digital landscape, concerns surrounding the collection of personal information have become increasingly paramount. It is crucial for businesses and organizations to recognize the responsibility of collecting only the data needed to deliver the services or functionalities their users seek.

Unnecessarily amassing a plethora of personal information, particularly from children using websites or online services, is both ethically and legally questionable. For instance, a child’s use of an online educational platform might not necessitate collecting their address or in-depth information about their family life.

To successfully minimize this data collection, businesses can adopt best practices such as limiting the use of cookies and other tracking technologies. Implementing such precautions leads to a safer online environment that allows users, young and old, the opportunity to enjoy websites and online services with confidence in their privacy.

Implementing Strong Data Security Measures

In today’s digital era, implementing strong data security measures is crucial in safeguarding personal information from unauthorized access, use, and disclosure. As cyber threats continually evolve and affect various aspects of our online presence, the responsibility of securing sensitive data is now more paramount than ever.

Examples of robust security measures include employing encryption techniques, which involve converting data into an unreadable code to prevent interception, and implementing access controls that limit user privileges to data that is essential to them.

To further bolster cyber defenses, it’s vital to adopt best practices that are tailored to the size and complexity of one’s website or online service. Integrating these strategies will not only enhance the protection of personal information but also bolster consumer trust and reduce the likelihood of becoming a target for cybercriminals.

Providing Clear And Age-Appropriate Notices To Children And Parents

As an organization catering to the diverse needs of children and parents, we understand the significance of providing clear and age-appropriate notices conducive for effective communication.

Ensuring our approach is suitable for various age groups, ranging from toddlers to teenagers and their respective guardians, we take special care to adopt a language that is comprehensive, concise, and informative.

Furthermore, we prioritize security and compliance concerning any personal information usage, bearing in mind the immense trust that parents place in our organization.

By maintaining an affirmative and informative tone of voice, we aim to foster an environment of trust and transparency, where both children and parents feel engaged and informed, empowering them to make prudent decisions regarding their interaction with our services.

Obtaining Verifiable Parental Consent

Obtaining verifiable parental consent is a crucial step in safeguarding the privacy and security of children under the age of 13 while they interact with the digital world. In an era where a child’s personal information is increasingly collected, used, or shared, it is the moral and legal responsibility of businesses to protect this vulnerable demographic.

To ensure consent is genuine and informed, organizations can adopt acceptable methods such as email confirmation, credit card verification, or even seek written permission. A proactive approach includes educating parents about the specific data that will be gathered, its purpose, and any potential sharing with third parties.

By implementing best practices and fostering communication, we can establish a secure environment for children to explore and learn while respecting their rights and upholding the trust parents place in us.

Conducting Regular Audits And Assessments

Conducting regular audits and assessments is a crucial practice for businesses and organizations to ensure compliance with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and other relevant privacy laws and regulations. By implementing these checks, organizations can identify potential areas of concern and take corrective actions to protect the sensitive information of their users, especially children.

Examples of areas that may be audited or assessed include the implementation of robust data security measures and the provision of clear, understandable notices to parents and children about the collection and use of their personal information.

To guarantee the thoroughness and comprehensiveness of audits and assessments, organizations should adopt best practices such as engaging external experts, utilizing up-to-date tools, and fostering a culture of continuous improvement.

This diligent approach will not only ensure legal compliance but also help in building trust with stakeholders, ultimately promoting a safer and more responsible digital environment.

Educating Staff And Users About Privacy Best Practices

In today’s digital landscape, the significance of safeguarding personal information cannot be overstated. Thus, it is essential to prioritize the education of both staff and users about privacy best practices when managing a website or online service. By emphasizing the importance of protecting confidential data, everyone involved will be well-informed and better equipped to maintain privacy standards.

Essential topics to be covered in privacy education should include secure handling of sensitive information, such as using encryption and strong authentication measures, as well as identifying and reporting potential privacy violations for prompt action.

Furthermore, it is vital to ensure that private education remains an ongoing process, with regular updates provided to all staff and users on new developments and best practices.

Consistent reinforcement of the importance of privacy protection and the sharing of up-to-date information will create a culture of security, benefiting both the organization and its users in the long run.


In conclusion, complying with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) is crucial for ensuring the protection of children’s online privacy and fostering a safe online environment for the most vulnerable users. As technology and digital platforms continue to evolve, it becomes increasingly important for website operators and online service providers to stay up-to-date with the latest COPPA requirements and best practices.

By doing so, they can promote online privacy and safety through responsible data collection, storage, and disclosure methods. This not only encompasses following the legal obligations outlined by COPPA but also goes a step further in making a conscious effort to impart digital awareness and educate both children and their parents about the value of their personal information.

Fostering a culture of transparency and accountability will help ensure the protection of children’s online privacy in this digital age, paving the way for a safer and more secure internet landscape for everyone.

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