If you want to connect with kids under 13 through your website—possibly through a contest or other fun event where part of their participation includes filling out an online form—your website has to comply with the Federal Trade Commission’s Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act rules (COPPA.) This act has been in effect since April, 2000.
The primary goal of this policy is to “place parents in control over what info is collected from their children online.” While children’s gaming sites are a prime target, any site that wants to collect information from young users falls under the governance of COPPA—and it’s probably a good policy to follow these rules for all ages.
Steps from COPPA
The COPPA guide outlines common sense steps that, very simply, make it transparent to parents and users what information you’re collecting, why you’re collecting it and how the information will be used.
- In the policy, describe what information you collect, how your site handles it and if the information will be shared in any way (and with whom)
- Facebook—Go here to see their privacy broken into categories, or go here to see the actual policy in its entirety
For more information on the Act in full, visit the Bureau of Consumer Protection’s website.