NewImageThe U.S. Federal Trade Commission has begun sending educational letters to app developers to make them aware of upcoming changes to the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) that was updated back in December.

The two letters [PDF, PDF] inform developers that the restricted collection of personal information of kids 13-and-under has been expanded to include photographs and video and audio with a child's image, among other things. Previously, only identifying information such as the child's name, address, and telephone number was restricted.

Please note that we have not yet evaluated your apps or your company’s practices to determine if they comply with COPPA as it is now – or as it will be starting July 1, 2013. We are sending you this letter to both alert you to the upcoming COPPA Rule changes and to encourage you to review your apps, your policies, and your procedures for compliance.

The revised COPPA Rule requires all developers of apps that are directed to children under 13 – or that knowingly collect personal information from children under 13 – to post accurate privacy policies, provide notice, and obtain verifiable parental consent before collecting, using, or disclosing any “personal information” from children.

App 'platforms' like Apple's App Store and Google Play are explicitly exempted from the law and stores are not required to verify that apps are in compliance with the law; instead, it's up to individual developers to verify compliance.

Thanks Jules!

Top Rated Comments

Jessica Lares Avatar
103 months ago
I also think it's the developer's responsibility. They are the ones making the initial app after all.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ArtOfWarfare Avatar
103 months ago
The inefficiency, it burns!
How so? If Apple were required to verify all apps for compliance with these new rules, it'd only slow the review process down further. Rather than making it so all developers have to deal with the implications of this law, only the developers making apps that actually pertain to the subject matter actually have to do anything about it.

Whether a law like this is actually necessary is another matter entirely... I'm always in favor of saying if a law mentions age, it's ageist bull.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Jessica Lares Avatar
103 months ago
In a way this sucks for developers because even if they rate an app 14+ kids can lie about it just like they can lie now about being 17 etc. Hell I know 8 year olds with their own apple id etc cause the parents lied about the kids age.

So developers are going to end up basically forced to remove all such sharing which will destroy apps like Instagram etc. or the law needs to be changed to either specify only apps targeted to kids.

Or perhaps what is needed is a restrictions feature where parents can turn off uploading of photos etc just like they can turn off IAP. All apps would be required to include it if they have such sharing features so that parents can turn those bits off.

You should really read before you assume what this means. It's strictly for apps that are targeted at children. Has NOTHING to do with social networking.

There has been a policy since 1999 stating that if you make a website targeting to those 13 and under, it has to be very strict. Everything from the way signups work, to the display of any material that is submitted by the kid themselves.

I think there were other bits about marketing, but I can't remember. All I remember was that i was 10 when it went into effect and it was awful. :o

Yes, you can lie about your age, and yes, shortly when this went into effect, all my friends and I DID lie about our age in order to join forums and whatnot. But it wasn't like I was saying that I was 18, I just added three years to my birthday so I would be 13.

Webmasters can only go by the information they get from the user. If they sign up as being 13, they have to pass them as being 13. Now, if they start posting pictures and things that reveal that they are indeed much, much younger, it's then when the website owner has to take action and purge the account. And that's the whole thing here. If you're going to let anyone under 13 join your site, you have to hand it in THIS manner, or you can't let them participate.

A lot of developers have things like TrialPay, Tapjoy, and newsletter signups. They also have in-game chat, and all that. We're going to see a lot of that disappear in the educational games that are made for the younger crowd. It's not going to affect games like Angry Birds or social networks.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
larrylaffer Avatar
103 months ago
App 'platforms' like Apple's App Store and Google Play are explicitly exempted from the law and stores are not required to verify that apps are in compliance with the law; instead, it's up to individual developers to verify compliance

The inefficiency, it burns!
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

samsung experience 1

Samsung's 'iTest' Lets You Try a Galaxy Device on Your iPhone

Thursday April 8, 2021 12:42 pm PDT by
Samsung has launched "iTest," an interactive website experience that's designed to allow iPhone users to test out Android on a Galaxy device, or "sample the other side," as Samsung puts it. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. The iTest website is being advertised in New Zealand, according to a MacRumors reader who came across the feature. Visiting the iTest website on...
sonny 2021 ipad mini pro dummies

Leaked Dummy Units Show iPad Mini 6 With Thick Bezels and Home Button, New iPad Pro Models

Thursday April 8, 2021 2:11 am PDT by
Rumors suggest Apple will release refreshed versions of the iPad mini and iPad Pro models in the first half of this year, potentially as soon as this month, and a new leak today has provided us with a possible preview of what to expect in terms of the devices' overall design and camera prospects. Tech leaker and Apple blogger Sonny Dickson this morning shared images on Twitter showing dummy ...
apple music for artists new icon

Apple's Revamped Apple Music for Artists Icon Leads to Speculation About iOS 15 Design Plans

Tuesday April 6, 2021 1:03 pm PDT by
Apple yesterday updated its Apple Music for Artists app with some minor bug fixes and improvements, but also one other notable change -- a new icon. New icon on the right The Apple Music for Artists app now features a simpler, streamlined icon with a pinkish red music logo rather than the multicolored logo that was used before. The icon also has an embossed look that makes it stand out from...
apple find my network

Apple Announces Find My Network With Support for Third-Party Devices

Wednesday April 7, 2021 10:06 am PDT by
Apple today announced the launch of its Find My network accessory program, which is designed to allow third-party Bluetooth devices to be tracked in the Find My app right alongside your Apple devices. According to Apple, the first accessory companies to take advantage of the new Find My integration include Belkin, Chipolo, and VanMoof, with devices set to be available beginning next week. ...
new m1 chip

M1 Mac RAM and SSD Upgrades Found to Be Possible After Purchase

Tuesday April 6, 2021 5:34 am PDT by
Technicians in China have reportedly succeeded in upgrading the memory and storage of the M1 chip, suggesting that Apple's integrated custom silicon for the Mac may be more flexible than previously thought. Reports of maintenance technicians being able to expand the memory and storage of M1 Macs began circulating on Chinese social media over the weekend, but now international reports have...
Intel MBP Is Thin and Lighjt

Intel Ad for 'World's Best Processor' Features a MacBook Pro

Wednesday April 7, 2021 9:51 am PDT by
Intel has been on a relentless marketing drive against Mac computers in recent weeks, positioning them as inferior to Windows laptops powered by Intel processors. In a slight slip-up, however, Intel has accidentally used a MacBook instead of a Windows laptop in one of its newest ads to promote one of its new 11th-generation chips as "the world's best processor." The ad appeared on Reddit and ...
tmobile 5g modem

T-Mobile Launches Unlimited 5G Home Internet for $60/Month

Wednesday April 7, 2021 2:18 pm PDT by
T-Mobile today hosted an Un-carrier event where the company announced the launch of a a new 5G home internet plan, which is priced at $60 per month and offers unlimited data. The service is available to more than 30 million Americans across much of the United States, including 10 million households in rural areas not typically able to access reliable broadband. Connectivity will be either 4G ...
iMessage Android featured

Apple's Rationale for Not Bringing iMessage to Android Revealed in Legal Documents

Friday April 9, 2021 2:22 am PDT by
It's no secret that Apple sees iMessage as a big enough selling point to keep the service exclusive to Apple devices, however new court filings submitted by Epic Games in its ongoing lawsuit with the company reveal just how Apple executives have rationalized their decision not to develop a version of iMessage for Android. Apple clearly recognizes the power that iMessage has to keep users...
14

Apple Seeds Seventh Betas of iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 to Developers [Update: Public Beta Available]

Wednesday April 7, 2021 10:04 am PDT by
Apple today seeded the seventh betas of upcoming iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 updates to developers for testing purposes, with the new beta updates coming one week after Apple released the sixth iOS and iPadOS 14.5 betas. iOS and iPadOS 14.5 can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center or over the air after the proper profile has been installed on an iPhone or iPad. iOS 14.5 is the...
ipad pro and macbook pro

iPad and MacBook Production Reportedly Delayed Due to Global Chip Shortage

Thursday April 8, 2021 2:31 am PDT by
Apple is facing a global shortage of certain components for some of its MacBook and iPad models, causing the Cupertino tech giant and its suppliers to postpone production of the products, according to a new report from Nikkei Asia. According to the report, MacBook production is being hindered due to the shortage of chips mounted onto the circuit board before final assembly, which is a key...