The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) ended 2012 with a bang by adopting final amendments to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). For those of us who work in children’s advertising, these long awaited amendments came as no surprise. The final amendment, which goes into effect on July 1, 2013, came only weeks after the FTC issued a report that found that mobile applications have demonstrated “little progress” in addressing concerns about the privacy of children’s data.
COPPA was first enacted in 1998 and requires that operators of websites and online services that are either directed to children under thirteen or have actual knowledge that they are collecting personal information from children under thirteen notify parents and obtain their verifiable consent before collecting, using or disclosing personal information from children. Geolocation The FTC initiated the review to ensure that keeps pace with evolving technology, such as mobile devices and social networking. In other words, the FTC wanted to ensure that COPPA protects the six year old child you see on the bus everyday playing with his parent’s iPhone.