FTC Votes to Retain July 1 COPPA Date

May 6, 2013 | The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) unanimously voted today to retain the July 1, 2013 implementation date for the updated Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule (COPPA).

The Toy Industry Association (TIA) was among several organizations across a range of industries that sent a letter to the FTC last month, urging the Commission to consider extending the effective date  to January 1, 2014 to provide companies with sufficient time to complete the complex and difficult task of redesigning products and services to ensure compliance with the new Rule.

Following the 4-0 vote, the Commission issued a letter to industry stating that it would retain the July 1 effective date announced last December because companies had been given enough time to prepare for compliance.

In light of the fast-approaching implementation date, TIA members are reminded of the following resources to aid in compliance:

  • The FTC’s Frequently Asked Questions, published at the end of April, is a guidance document that covers general questions regarding the new Rule, including enforcement measures and expectations, as well as privacy policies in the areas of geolocation, mixed audience sites, photos and video, disclosure of information to third parties, and more.

  • TIA’s Knowledge Network hosted a webinar in February which outlined the COPPA amendments and their impact on the toy industry. A recording of the session is available online (scroll to the bottom of the page – under Webinar Access).

  • TIA has created a “COPPA Dos and Don’ts” guidance document to provide answers to key industry concerns, such as whether COPPA applies to e-commerce, adult collector or general audience websites that link to child-directed sites, and how companies can best conduct a text message promotion directed to children. The complete list of “Dos and Don’ts” can be found in the Members Only section of the TIA website.
The final COPPA Rule modifies certain definitions and strengthens certain protections for the online collection, use or disclosure of personal information from children under 13. It incorporates many of TIA’s recommendations submitted to the FTC while the amendments were in development.

Questions on this topic may be directed to Rachel Hedge, TIA director of federal government affairs (202.459.0351).