On August 6, 2014, the Federal Trade Commission announced that it had approved a safe harbor program submitted by the Internet Keep Safe Coalition (“iKeepSafe”), stating the program provides the “same or greater protections” for children under the age of 13 as those contained in the new Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule (the “COPPA Rule”). An updated version of the COPPA Rule came into effect July 1, 2013.
The COPPA Rule permits industry to propose self-regulatory guidelines that implement the COPPA Rule’s protections. If the FTC approves a set of self-regulatory guidelines, companies that comply with those guidelines are protected (i.e., receive “safe harbor”) from FTC enforcement under the COPPA Rule. Earlier this year the FTC approved another industry-submitted safe harbor program, the kidSAFE Seal Program.