Archives: Children’s Privacy

Subscribe to Children’s Privacy RSS Feed

NY AG Settles with TRUSTe Over its COPPA Safe-Harbor Program

Last week, the New York Attorney General’s Office announced that it had entered into a settlement with privacy compliance company TRUSTe, signaling the AG’s continuing interest in children’s privacy and potentially portending an uptick in state-level enforcement under the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”). TRUSTe operates an FTC-approved safe-harbor program for online services subject to … Continue Reading

FTC Settles Complaint against Mobile Ad Network InMobi over Location-Data Collection & COPPA Violations

The FTC announced today that it reached a settlement with mobile ad network InMobi. InMobi offers a software-development kit (SDK) that its third-party app-developer customers can integrate into their mobile applications. The SDK allows InMobi to target advertisements to app users based on data collected and allows the app developer to thereby better monetize its advertising … Continue Reading

Math Question As Age-Gate and Invite-A-Friend Under Fire

The Children’s Advertising Review Unit of the Council of Better Business Bureaus (“CARU”) routinely monitors web sites and mobile apps for compliance with its Guidelines and the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”).  Through that routine monitoring, CARU recently discovered the information practices of the 1st through 7th grade mobile applications called Friendzy (e.g., 1st … Continue Reading

Privacy and Ed-tech in 2016

There was a lot of legislative movement for the educational technology (ed-tech) industry in 2015 with states placing additional privacy regulations on the industry, and the effects of those new acts should be felt this year. The states that passed this type of legislation in 2015 were following California’s lead. California’s governor signed the Student … Continue Reading

FTC Settles Advertising-Related COPPA Charges Against Two App Developers

This week, the FTC announced settlements with two developers of children’s apps that it claimed had failed to comply the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”). While any COPPA enforcement by the FTC is noteworthy, these cases are particularly interesting in that they are the FTC’s first COPPA enforcement actions that are based on allegations that a child-directed online service … Continue Reading

ALERT: Google’s Plan to Open Its Services to Children Could Spur Changes to COPPA Enforcement

Recent reports indicate that Google is developing a program that would allow children under the age of 13 to obtain accounts on Google services such as Gmail and YouTube.  The Wall Street Journal  recently reported that “Google is trying to establish a new system that lets parents set up accounts for their kids, control how … Continue Reading

New COPPA Options for Verifiable Consent

Yesterday, the FTC gave its blessing to some new ways that covered organizations can obtain verifiable parental consent before collecting personal information from children under 13. The updated COPPA Rule FAQs offer expanded options to get consent using payment card information and for developers using a third party such as an app store to get … Continue Reading

New California Regulation Regarding Minors Is Coming: Are You Ready? Part 2 – The Advertising Provisions

A new California statute, which originated as SB 568 and will be codified as § 22580 et seq. of the Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code, takes effect January 1, 2015.  The law has two key provisions: one addressing online advertising in connection with minors, which this post addresses, and one addressing a minor’s right to delete … Continue Reading

New California Regulation Regarding Minors Is Coming: Are You Ready? Part 1 – The “Eraser Button” Provisions

A new California statute, which originated as SB 568 and will be codified as § 22580 et seq. of the Cal. Bus. & Prof Code, takes effect January 1, 2015. Given the time it may take some sites, applications and online services to determine and implement appropriate compliance steps, now is the time to start considering … Continue Reading


The Children’s Advertising Review Unit of the Council of Better Business Bureaus (CARU) routinely monitors advertising to children.  Through those monitoring efforts, CARU brings challenges against advertisers for alleged non-compliance with its Self-Regulatory Program for Children’s Advertising and the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).  In a recent case published on March 10, 2014, CARU … Continue Reading

Knowledge-Based Authentication Approved as Method to Verify Parental Consent Under COPPA

On December 23, 2013, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) issued a letter approving the use of knowledge-based authentication as a method of obtaining prior verifiable parental consent under its new Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”) Rule, 16 C.F.R. Part 312 (“Amended Rule”). The Amended Rule not only expanded the non-exhaustive list of acceptable methods … Continue Reading


By Justine Young Gottshall And Damien Wint As we approach six months since the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) amendments to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) Rule, 16 C.F.R. Part 312 (the “Rule” or, as amended, the “Amended Rule”) became effective, it is essential that any website or online service that is not in … Continue Reading


For operators of web sites, apps and other online services, change is definitely coming – and quickly.  On April 25, 2013, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) issued updated Frequently Asked Questions (the “FAQs”) for its amended implementing rule (the “Rule”) for the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”).  The FAQs give some additional insight regarding … Continue Reading

FTC’s Amended COPPA Rule Seeks to Keep Up with the Internet Revolution

The FTC announced that it had finalized amendments to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) Rule, which the FTC originally enacted in 2000.  The original Rule was created with the goal of protecting the online privacy of Children younger than the age of 13 (“Children”) by requiring that websites: 1) obtain parental consent before … Continue Reading

FTC Report: Mobile Apps For Kids Not Making The Grade (NOTE: Not Just A Privacy Report)

On December 10, 2012, the FTC released a follow-up to its February 2012 report on mobile apps for kids.  The February 2012 report found that little or no information was available to parents about the privacy practices of the mobile apps the FTC surveyed on Apple’s App Store and Google’s Android Market.  The FTC’s follow-up report finds … Continue Reading

Bieber Fever Gets a Dose of the FTC: Operator of Bieber Fan Site (Among Others) Agrees to One Million Dollar Settlement for COPPA Violations

Last week, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) reached a settlement with Artist Arena LLC (“Artist Arena”), a company that operates pop star fan websites targeting the Tween set. In the  complaint against Artist Arena, the FTC alleged that Artist Arena  violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act Rule (“COPPA Rule”) by failing to provide notice … Continue Reading

FTC Seeks Comment on New Proposed Revisions to COPPA Rule

Co-Authored by Shannon Harell Yesterday, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) released aFederal Register notice (“Notice”) seeking public comments on additional proposed revisions to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act Rule (“COPPA Rule”). As we blogged in September 2011, the FTC initially issued proposed revisions to the COPPA Rule and requested comments on September 15, 2011 (“2011 Notice”).  The … Continue Reading

FTC: “The Kids App Ecosystem Needs To Wake Up…”

Today, the FTC released a report titled Mobile Apps for Kids: Current Privacy Disclosures Are Dis appointing. The FTC surveyed apps for children available in the Android Market and the Apple App store. The FTC found that apps can capture a bunch of information from a device and person, but there is a lack of information about data … Continue Reading

FTC Proposes Revisions to COPPA Rule

On September 15, 2011 the FTC issued proposed revisions to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule (the “COPPA Rule”), which imposes requirements on web sites that are directed at and/or collect personal information from children younger than 13 years old. According to the FTC, the revisions are to “ensure that the Rule continues to protect … Continue Reading

Mobile Application Settles FTC Charges of COPPA Violations

 If there really was any remaining debate over whether the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”) applies in the mobile world, this should put it to rest. W3 Innovations, LLC, doing business as Broken Thumbs Apps, along with the company president and owner Justin Maples, has paid $50,000 to settle an FTC complaint that certain mobile … Continue Reading

FTC Enforcement Update: “Virtual Worlds” Operators Settle Children’s Privacy Violation Charges; Pay $3M Fine

On May 12, 2011, the Federal Trade Commission announced that the operators of 20 online virtual worlds have agreed to pay $3 million to settle charges that they violated the Children's Online Privacy Protection (COPPA) Rule by collecting and disclosing personal information from hundreds of thousands of children under age 13 without their parents' prior consent. The FTC noted that this settlement is the largest civil penalty for a violation of the FTC's COPPA Rule. … Continue Reading

FTC Settles Charges that Company Failed to Tell Users — Parents — that Children’s Information Would be Disclosed to Marketers

On November 30, 2010, the Federal Trade Commission announced a settlement with EchoMetrix, Inc. with respect to charges that the company failed to adequately disclose its privacy practices. EchoMetrix sells software that allows parents to monitor their children's online activities. The FTC alleged that the company engaged in a deceptive act or practice in violation of Section 5 of the FTC Act by failing to inform parents that the information the software collected about their children would be disclosed to third parties for marketing purposes. … Continue Reading

Social Networking: Setting Boundaries in a Borderless Brave New World

Social networking entails some risks and responsibilities. It may implicate privacy and labor law, confidentiality and nondisclosure agreements, advertising regulations, defamation, and other legal regimes, across borders in a global medium. Users, and their employers, need to be aware of these risks and responsibilities in deciding how to make best use of social media. … Continue Reading