In the days of Snowden and debates around the constitutionality of warrantless wiretapping, privacy seems ever to hover at the forefront of conversation. Against this backdrop, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) has emerged as a topic of import.
Enacted in 1998, and effective 2001,COPPA marked a decisive step by the U.S. Federal Government in the interest of heightened privacy protections. Enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), COPPA applies to the online collection of personal information by persons or entities under U.S. jurisdiction from children aged 13 and under, specifically detailing what website operators must include in their privacy policies, in what manner such operators must protect children’s privacy and safety online, and how to seek verifiable consent from parents or guardians.
In December of 2012, the FTC upped the ante, issuing the amended COPPA regulations. The regulations became effective on July 1, 2013, and expanded the definition of what is ‘children’s personal information’ to include photos, videos, recording of a child’s voice, geolocation, persistent identifiers, screen names and user names.
In a recent Lawline CLE course, Arina Shulga highlights the unique impact that the amended COPPA regulations will have on app developers. She also discusses the FTC’s second Staff Report on privacy disclosures and practices in mobile apps, which warned app developers of pending investigations into the mobile app marketplace, and includes commentary on constitutional law.