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All I wanted for Christmas was for COPPA to be finalized...(just kidding, I'm not THAT nerdy.)


The amended rule goes into effect July 1, 2013.



COPPA is the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act, which has been winding its way through a lengthy review process over the last couple of years.  We have been tracking the comments and proposed updates:


June 2010:


September 2011:


May 2012:


August 2012:


For a while, it looked like there might be some pretty "out-there" ideas incorporated, but evidently cooler heads prevailed.  They haven't expanded the law to cover 14-17 year olds, for example.  And while they included IP addresses as Personally Identifiable Information, they have an exception where the IP address is only used for internal operations, so they don't "break the Internet."


If you are already subject to COPPA, you might need to re-look at your Privacy Policy and update it to meet the new rules.  If you have a mobile app or are serving third-party targeted ads on your site, you need to read the new COPPA update closely, as those are two areas that were scrutinized during the review process.


Geolocation information is now covered under personally identifiable information, as well as media that includes a child's image or voice, which might impact some of the photo sharing sites out there.


If you weren't subject to COPPA before, this update shouldn't change things for you, but if your audience includes kids 13 and under, you should have your attorneys check it out.


Here's a link to FTC summary of the amendments:


And here's a link to the full revised COPPA rule:


Grab a cup of hot cocoa, curl up next to the fire, and have a nice read. 


Are you taking action as a result of the amended COPPA?  How do you feel about the changes? 




I'd love to hear your thoughts here in the comments, or connect with me on Twitter.


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  • christmastree: FTC revises COPPA in time for holidays

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