FTC gives new COPPA safe harbor the aye-aye

If coping with COPPA is a part of your job, you’re familiar with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule’s safe harbor provision, a method for encouraging innovation and flexibility in the COPPA compliance process. After studying a proposal from nonprofit group iKeepSafe and considering your feedback, the FTC has approved the organization’s safe harbor.

Under COPPA, industry members can develop their own COPPA self-regulatory programs and then run them past the FTC for possible approval. In most cases, an operator who participates in an approved COPPA safe harbor program will be subject to the program’s procedures, rather than to formal FTC law enforcement. We see that as a win-win-win for industry compliance, parental control, and efficient government.

In approving iKeepSafe’s Safe Harbor Program, the FTC pointed to four key features that it offered:

  1. “the same or greater protections for children” as the COPPA Rule,
  2. effective mechanisms to assess compliance,
  3. incentives for operators to honor the guidelines, and
  4. an adequate means for resolving consumer complaints.

While you’re reviewing the latest COPPA news, take a few minutes to reacquaint yourself with the FTC’s suite of compliance materials, including the to-the-point Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule: A Six-Step Compliance Plan for Your Business, the "deep cuts" COPPA FAQs for mavens, and this video about updates to the Rule.

 

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