Children’s Online Data Vulnerable to Exploitation


Online companies, be they commercial websites or mobile apps, aren’t allowed to collect data about children under 13.

In the nascent days of the internet the government felt compelled to protect children online and passed the Child Online Privacy Protection Act in 1998. It went into effect in 2000 and was updated with new rules in 2013. Developers aren’t allowed to keep general information like name, address, user names and the like, called “digital identifier.”

It appears without careful oversight by the FTC, whether intentionally being done or not, violations are occurring.

Results of a study showing two-thirds of apps used by pre-school children is published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics journal.

To fully understand the law called COPPA, here are the FTC’s top questions and answers.

photo: Getty Images


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