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Does Your App or Website Target Children Under 13?

Posted on in Intellectual Property

FL cyberlaw attorneyParenting in this age of technology brings about challenges that parents of the past never had to worry about. When they are not being monitored, children can have the whole world at their fingertips via smartphones, tablets, personal computers, smart watches, and other means. However, if they are under 13, businesses must comply with the federal Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule (COPPA), or parents may be able to take legal action, and the businesses or organizations that own the websites or apps may face heavy fines.

What Is the COPPA Rule?

Any website or online service that may collect personal information from children under the age of 13 must follow the rules of COPPA. This includes multiple types of apps such as games, social media, toys that connect to the internet, and many more internet-connected services that children may use. However, it also includes plug-ins, advertising, location-based services, etc. Companies that regularly collect personal information should be careful to ensure that they are compliant with COPPA.

“Personal information” can include anything from full name, address, phone number, or a screen name through which the user can be contacted to social security number, cookie number or IP address, photo or video of the child, or even an audio recording of the child’s voice. This means that some of the information covered by COPPA is not even manually entered by the child, but rather comes from the connection through the computer or handheld device itself.

According to COPPA, parents must be notified and give consent before their children’s information can be collected. The notice should be sent directly to a parent, and it should be clearly worded and easy to read and understand. COPPA also requires that, if the child’s information is collected, the company or organization must have reasonable methods in place for protecting the security of the children’s personal information.

Websites must additionally post or send a privacy policy to parents of children whose information has been collected. There are several other details to consider as well, and organizations and app developers could definitely benefit from seeking legal counsel to assure their COPPA compliance.

Contact a Reliable Tampa Cyber Law Attorney

Whether you want to make certain that you are in compliance with COPPA, or you have been accused of violating the rule, you can contact Nelson Cyber Law for assistance. You will want an experienced New Port Richey cyberlaw attorney to ensure that you are covering all your bases to avoid legal issues and fines. Call 800-400-5536 to schedule a free 30-minute consultation.




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