ERIC Number: ED456833
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
COPPA (Children's Online Privacy Protection Act): The First Year--A Survey of Sites. A Report on Web Site Compliance.
Center for Media Education, Washington, DC.
The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) went into effect on April 21, 2000. The first Federal online privacy law, COPPA regulates the collection, use, and disclosure by commercial Web sites and online services of personally identifiable information from children under age 13. To mark the first anniversary of COPPA's implementation, a quantitative systematic evaluation was conducted of 153 commercial Web sites directed at children under age 13 to determine if they were complying properly with the letter and spirit of COPPA and following the guidelines outlined in the Federal Trade Commission's Children's Online Privacy Protection Act Rule. Several basic questions guided the survey: What has been the impact of COPPA during its first year? Is industry changing its practices in response to COPPA? Are there any common factors affecting noncompliance with COPPA? How might COPPA compliance be more effective? The survey was conducted with a standard questionnaire that measured compliance with the provisions of the FTC's COPPA Rule. It looked at the parental notification and consent methods commercial Web sites use when gathering personally identifiable information from children. The survey found that COPPA has brought about significant changes in Web sites' business practices in data collection. A number of promising creative approaches illustrated how companies can adapt to the rules without undermining the interactive personalized features of the Internet. Commercial Web sites can still provide customized experiences for children and learn more about their audience, without compromising children's privacy. Despite these positive changes, the survey also found the industry is clearly not doing all it can to comply with the new privacy provisions, and in some cases, may be violating both the spirit and letter of the law. Recommendations address the need for more education about the law and acceptable business practices. Overall, children's Web sites should continue to be monitored for compliance with COPPA and for any new developments in marketing and advertising practices. (AEF)
Descriptors: Advertising, Child Health, Child Safety, Children, Compliance (Legal), Internet, Marketing, Online Systems, Privacy, World Wide Web
Center for Media Education, 2120 L St., NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC 20037. Tel 202-331-7833; Web site: http://www.cme.org. For full text: http://www.cme.org/children/privacy/coppa_rept.pdf.
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Center for Media Education, Washington, DC.