On April 25, 2013, the Federal Trade Commission released an updated version of its frequently asked questions regarding the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 (“COPPA”). The revised FAQs, entitled Complying with COPPA: Frequently Asked Questions (A Guide for Business and Parents and Small Entity Compliance Guide), provide general information on COPPA’s requirements and also include new guidance on the recent amendments to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule (“COPPA Rule”).

Some of the questions listed in the FAQs include:

  • When does the amended Rule go into effect? What should I do about information I collected from children prior to the effective date that was not considered personal under the original Rule but now is considered personal information under the amended Rule?
  • I don’t collect any of the newly-covered types of personal information. Other than the changes to the definition of personal information, in what ways is the new Rule different?
  • I know that COPPA does not just apply to Web sites, but also to “online services.” What types of online services does COPPA apply to?
  • I already have a privacy policy for my children’s app. Do I have to change it to comply with the amended COPPA Rule?
  • I have an app directed to children. Do I need to make sure that my privacy policy is included in the app store, at the point of purchase or download?
  • I know that the amended Rule made some changes to the direct notice that must be sent to parents before I collect personal information from children. What are those changes?”
  • Am I required to inform third parties that my Web site or online service is directed to children? Even if I am not required to do so, how can I do this? If I signal the nature of my site or service, will this protect me from liability under COPPA?

Read our previous post on the amended COPPA Rule that will become effective on July 1, 2013.