COPPA - Children's Online Privacy Protection Act

According to the English WikiPedia, The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act "applies to the online collection of personal information by persons or entities under U.S. jurisdiction from children under 13 years of age. It details what a website operator must include in a privacy policy, when and how to seek verifiable consent from a parent or guardian, and what responsibilities an operator has to protect children's privacy and safety online including restrictions on the marketing to those under 13."


How do some school administrators invoke COPPA to block web 2.0 sites?

Some school administrators cite COPPA as the reason social networking sites (like Ning) must be blocked and other web 2.0 sites are blocked.


What Does COPPA Require?

COPPA pertains to website owners which collect personal information from users. If a school is hosting a website which collects personal user information, the website should provide a mechanism for school officials to verify the identity and age of users. Users under age 13 should have parent permission to participate on the website.


COPPA does not:


What is the Takeaway Here?

Whether the school hosts/maintains its own social networking / educational networking website(s) and/or third party sites are used, COPPA requirements should be met and followed.


Additional Resources Relating to COPPA


  1. FTC Guidelines on COPPA and Schools (added 16 June 2016)
  2.  "A Blueprint For a Site For Young Readers." Bill Fitzgerald. 13 July 2008.
  3. " Settles FTC Charges Social Networking Site for Kids Violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act; Settlement Includes $130,000 Civil Penalty." 20 January 2008.
  4. "Sony BMG Music Settles Charges Its Music Fan Websites Violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act." 11 December 2008.
  5. "How To Protect Children From Child Predators And Cyberbullies In Social Networking Sites." (PDF) Francoise Gilbert. 2009.
  6. The EdJurist Blog


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