What Is COPPA?


Quick Answer

COPPA, also known as the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act, is a law passed by Congress in 1998. COPPA was written by the Federal Trade Commission and protects privacy information of children under 13 on the Internet without approval of a parent or guardian, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

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Full Answer

COPPA is enforced by the Federal Trade Commission, which takes action against any companies, organizations or corporations that do not comply with the law by protecting the private information of children online. The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act stipulates that individuals who operate online services or a website that collects personal information from users must not release personal information of a child under 13 or publish the information publicly, notes the Federal Trade Commission.

The information collected online cannot be used for any other purpose as stipulated in COPPA. In addition, any personal information identifiable from a child cannot be used in electronic correspondence, paper mail, as content on a website, on a message board or in a chat room by the operator of the website or the affiliated company. As of 2014, amendments to COPPA have been proposed to Congress to include advances in mobile technology to further protect the privacy of children, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

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