How COPPA Affects Your Family
The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), a federal law passed in 2008, gives parents control over what information is collected about their children online. Websites geared towards children under 13 are required under COPPA to do the following:
Contact parents directly for verifiable consent before collecting children’s personal information
Allow parents to give permission for the collection of a child’s information, but not for the purpose of disclosing that information to a third party
Give parents access to their children’s personal information as well as the ability to edit this information
Allow parents to end further collection of children’s information
Securely maintain the information collected about the child users of the site
If your children are accessing a site geared toward kids 13 and younger, that site should comply with the COPPA rules. This affects your family by providing you, the parent, with a number of tools. You can utilize the tools by doing the following:
Utilize the parental access functions of the site in order to monitor your child’s use of the site as well as what personal information your child has shared. This parental access often also includes the ability to change the settings of your child’s account.
Decide whether to allow your child to have access to the site. All sites following COPPA regulations must receive verifiable consent from parents before allowing children to create user accounts. Watch for an e-mail to verify your child’s account before they are allowed to use that site.