Privacy Update: Complying With COPPA Under The FTC's New Children's Online Privacy Protection Rules

by Polsinelli
Contact

In December 2012, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued updated rules to the Child's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), which significantly expand COPPA's scope and application. COPPA, which governs the collection, use, and disclosure of personal information from children under 13 online, requires operators of websites and online services that are directed to children or that have actual knowledge that they are collecting information from children to provide notice to and obtain consent from the child's parents prior to collecting personal information from the child. The new rules – which are effective July 1, 2013 – broaden the type of information covered by COPPA, apply to a much wider group of website and online service operators, and impose new data security, protection, retention, and deletion requirements.

Who is Covered

Under the new rules, a provider of a website or online service that is directed to children is considered an "operator" covered by COPPA and is primarily responsible for information that is collected through its site by third party services, such as ad-networks and plug-ins (e.g., Facebook "Like" and Twitter "tweet" buttons). In other words, a child-directed website or service is liable for information collected by a third party provider operating on their website or service, even if they do not have actual knowledge of the third party's collection of personal information through its website or service.

The new rules also cover third parties with actual knowledge that they are collecting children's online information through another's website or online service. This means that plug-ins and ad-networks that are aware that they are collecting information from children will also be required to notify parents and obtain parental consent before collecting a child's information.

Websites and services that are directed at children but do not target children as their primary audience will be permitted to age-screen users and will only be required to notify parents and obtain parental consent for users that self-report as younger than 13 years of age.

What is Covered

The list of "personal information" that cannot be collected without notifying parents and obtaining parental consent has been expanded to include geolocation information, photographs, and videos. Persistent identifiers that recognize users over time and across different websites and services (e.g., IP addresses and mobile device IDs) can only be collected by a website or online service to support its internal operations.

The new rules also impose additional requirements for the way operators of websites and online services are required to treat the online personal information they collect from children. Prior to disclosure of children's personal information to service providers or third parties, operators of websites and online services must inquire about the other party's ability to maintain the confidentiality, security, and integrity of the information and must obtain that party's assurances regarding the proper treatment of such information after it is received from the operator. In addition, the new rules require that operators delete children's personal information when the purpose for which they collected the information is fulfilled. When deleting the information, the operators must also use reasonable measures (considering available technology) to protect against unauthorized access or use of the information during the deletion process.

What You Should Do Now

We encourage operators of websites, apps, and other online services to review their information practices and those of third parties that collect information through their sites. Many sites and services previously unaffected will now be subject to COPPA and will need to institute compliance procedures. Operators of websites and online services that were previously covered by COPPA should review their compliance procedures and collection practices to determine what changes are needed and implement changes to their privacy policies and parental notices prior to the new rules becoming effective on July 1, 2013.

For More Information

While this alert has discussed some of the more important rule changes, many other changes may affect your compliance with COPPA. If you have any questions about COPPA compliance or other online privacy issues, or if you would like assistance with creating or reviewing COPPA compliant practices and privacy policies, please contact:

 

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Polsinelli | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

Polsinelli
Contact
more
less

Polsinelli on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):
hide

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.

Security

JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at info@jdsupra.com. In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at: info@jdsupra.com.

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.