FTC Begins Sending COPPA Letters to App Developers Ahead of July Rule Change

by

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

(View all)
Avatar
94 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)
Avatar
94 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)
Avatar
94 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)
Avatar
94 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

Apple Takes Legal Action Against Small Company With Pear Logo

Saturday August 8, 2020 11:09 am PDT by
Apple is taking legal action against the developers of the app "Prepear" due to its logo, according to iPhone in Canada. Prepear is an app that helps users discover recipes, plan meals, make lists, and arrange grocery deliveries. The app is a spinoff of "Super Healthy Kids," and the founders claim that they are facing litigation from Apple. Apple reportedly takes issue with Prepear's logo, ...

Apple Seeds iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 Public Beta 4 to Testers

Thursday August 6, 2020 10:05 am PDT by
Apple today seeded new public betas of upcoming iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 updates to its public beta testing group. Today's software releases, which Apple labels as fourth betas to keep them in line with developer betas, are actually the third betas that Apple has provided and they come two weeks after the prior beta releases. Public beta testers who have signed up for Apple's beta testing...

Supposed iPhone 12 Display Unit Leaks

Thursday August 6, 2020 8:13 am PDT by
An image supposedly of an iPhone 12 display unit has been shared online by leaker "Twitter user Mr. White". Compared to images of an iPhone 11 Pro display piece, this new unit has a reoriented display connector, reaching up from the bottom of the display, rather than from the left-hand side on iPhone 11 Pro. This may be due to the logic board moving to the other side of the device. A...

8 Third-Party Home Screen Widgets That You Can Try Out Now on iOS 14

Wednesday August 5, 2020 12:56 pm PDT by
One of the biggest new features of iOS 14 is Home Screen widgets, which provide information from apps at a glance. The widgets can be pinned to the Home Screen in various spots and sizes, allowing for many different layouts. When the iOS 14 beta was first released in June, widgets were limited to Apple's own apps like Calendar and Weather, but several third-party developers have begun to test ...

New 27-Inch iMac's Storage Affixed to Logic Board, 4TB and 8TB Configurations Have Expansion Connector

Friday August 7, 2020 7:46 am PDT by
Following a report from German blog iFun.de that claimed the new 27-inch iMac's flash storage is soldered to the logic board, MacRumors has obtained additional information in an internal document for Apple technicians. In the document, Apple says that the flash storage is indeed affixed to the logic board and cannot be removed. However, for the 4TB and 8TB configurations, Apple says that a...

2020 iMac Teardown Reveals Internal Changes and Similarities

Saturday August 8, 2020 12:44 pm PDT by
A teardown video, shared by OWC, reveals the internal changes in the new 2020 27-inch iMac. The 2020 27-inch iMac was announced earlier this week with 10th-generation Intel Core processors, AMD Radeon Pro 5000 series graphics, up to 128GB of RAM, up to 8TB of storage, a 1080p front-facing FaceTime camera, a True Tone display with a nano-texture glass option, higher fidelity speakers, and...

Kuo: iPhone 12 Camera Lens Supplier Experiencing Quality Issues, But May Not Affect Launch Schedule

Thursday August 6, 2020 9:30 pm PDT by
One of Apple's camera lens suppliers for the upcoming non-Pro iPhone 12 models is having quality issues, according to a new research note from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo seen by MacRumors. The issues are, however, unlikely to have an impact on Apple's shipping schedule, presuming that Apple's other main supplier can make up the difference. Kuo says that Genius Electronic Optical has discovered...

Google's $349 Pixel 4a vs. Apple's $399 iPhone SE

Wednesday August 5, 2020 1:45 pm PDT by
Google this week launched its newest smartphone, the $349 Pixel 4a, a low-cost device that's designed to compete with other affordable devices like Apple's iPhone SE. We picked up one of the new Pixel 4a smartphones and thought we'd check it out to see how it measures up to the iPhone SE, given that the two devices have such similar price points. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel ...

Sony WH-1000XM4 Noise-Canceling Headphones Now Available for $350

Friday August 7, 2020 2:01 am PDT by
Sony's flagship WH-1000MX3 noise-canceling headphones have been among the best on the market for some time, and this week Sony released its fourth-generation WH-1000XM4 headphones boasting some notable improvements on the previous model. The XM4s feature the same basic design as the XM3s, but are one gram lighter at 254 grams due to slightly larger ear pads and some subtle tweaks to the...

Apple Announces New 27-Inch iMac With 10th-Gen Processors, Up to 128GB RAM, 1080p Webcam, True Tone, and More

Tuesday August 4, 2020 8:07 am PDT by
Apple today announced a new 27-inch iMac with faster 10th-generation Intel Core processor options, next-generation AMD graphics, up to 128GB of RAM, a higher-resolution 1080p front-facing FaceTime camera, a True Tone display with a nano-texture glass option, a T2 chip, higher fidelity speakers, studio-quality microphones, and more. A breakdown of the new 27-inch iMac's features and specs:10th...