FTC issues FAQs for revised COPPA Rules
Q: What does COPPA stand for and when will COPPA become effective?
A: COPPA means the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule, and will become effective on July 1, 2013. COPPA required the Federal Trade Commission to issue and enforce regulations concerning children’s online privacy. The Commission’s original COPPA Rule became effective on April 21, 2000. The Commission issued an amended Rule on December 19, 2012. The amended Rule will become effective on July 1, 2013.
Q: What is goal of COPPA?
A: The goal of COPPA is to protect the interest of children under age 13. If the operators of commercial Web sites and online services (including mobile apps) intend to collect, use, or disclose personal information from children under age 13, and operators of general audience Web sites or online services with actual knowledge that they are collecting, using, or disclosing personal information from children under 13, they must comply with the procedures and requirements as set out in COPPA.
Q: Who will be covered by COPPA?
A: COPPA will cover the operators of commercial Web sites and online services (including mobile apps) intend to collect, use, or disclose personal information from children under age 13, and operators of general audience Web sites or online services with actual knowledge that they are collecting, using, or disclosing personal information from children under 13.
Q: What types of online service does COPPA apply to?
A: COPPA cover not only the web sites, but also online services. Under COPPA, the term “online services” broadly covers any service available over the Internet, or that connects to the Internet or a wide-area network. Examples of online services include services that allow users to play network-connected games, engage in social networking activities, purchase goods or services online, receive online advertisements, or interact with other online content or services. Mobile applications that connect to the Internet, Internet-enabled gaming platforms, voice-over-Internet protocol services, and Internet-enabled location-based services also are online services covered by COPPA.
Q: What does “personal information” include under COPPA?
A: Under COPPA, the personal information includes fist and last name, a home or other physical address including street name and name of a city or town, online contact information, a screen or user name that functions as online contact information, a telephone number, a social security number, persistent identifier that can be used to recognize a user over time and across different Web sites or online services; a photograph, video, or audio file, where such file contains a child’s image or voice, geolocation information sufficient to identify street name and name of a city or town, and information concerning the child or the parents of that child that the operator collects online from the child and combines with an identifier described above.
Q: What should the operators of commercial web sites and online services do under COPPA if they intend to collect, use, or disclose personal information from children under age 13 ?