The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued new guidance documentation for businesses on how they can remain (or get) in compliance with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). COPPA has been in place for years now, but it is constantly being updated and expanded to help ensure children remain protected while using digital products and services.
In general, this set of regulations is seen to apply to online or digital products or services used by children under the age of 13.
One of the bigger updates that the FTC made is how companies need to make an effort to ensure they are complying with COPPA when they begin making new products or services. Specifically, ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) devices that have a reasonable chance of being used by children. This is likely because so many IoT devices are getting more and more advanced with additional functionalities that access the web.
The last set of updates that they gave was in regard to how companies can get parental consent. Specifically they said that parental consent must include questions that are dynamic, have multiple choices with enough variety and quantity to ensure minors couldn’t guess the answers, and that the questions are sufficiently difficult to ensure children couldn’t figure them out.
The FTC also confirmed that they will accept facial recognition technology to confirm parental consent, but it must use a two-step process. This could make the whole process easier for companies in the event that a standard process is setup and followed across multiple platforms.
Marketers need to be aware of these types of standards to ensure they are in compliance, and that the products or services being promoted are also in compliance.