COPPA is a law addressing child privacy online. The FTC issued COPPA changes in the form of new rules and regulations in the summer of 2013 regarding how the law should be complied with by online businesses.
The beauty of this video is the sheer, unfiltered hypocrisy of the FTC. They emphasize in the video that a site with knowledge of child users must comply with the law. However, the FTC enforces this provision selectively. If you are a small site with few assets, the Agency will go after you with all guns blazing. Larger sites? Not at all. Facebook has admitted it knows it has millions of child users. Has the FTC done anything? Not a chance. I don’t mean to bash Facebook. It simply reveals yet another blatant failing of the FTC. Regardless, give the video a watch.
FTC COPPA Cases
Perhaps the most interesting thing about the COPPA changes is how little the FTC moved to enforce each one. We really have seen anything more than nominal efforts by the FTC to enforce COPPA until 2019. Prior to that year, we would get one or two prosecutions where the FTC found low hanging fruit it could snag. Then privacy law blew up in 2018 and 2019 with high profile privacy cases and the passage of the General Data Protection Regulation in Europe followed by the California Consumer Privacy Act in California in the same summer of 2018. Suddenly, the FTC was put under pressure to protect kids privacy online and the pace of prosecutions picked up. The COPPA changes the FTC addresses in the video above became much more important.
COPPA prosecutions were a bit of a joke for years. No longer. Between the FTC and state attorney generals, companies need to be cognizant of their COPPA obligations and respond accordingly.
Richard Chapo, Esq.
Other COPPA Articles That May Interest You:
- COPPA – It Ain’t Italian Food
- Do Start-Ups Have to be COPPA Compliant?
- Video Website for Kids: Legal Considerations