FTC Approves Modifications to COPPA Safe Harbor Program
On July 31, the FTC announced it has approved TRUSTe’s proposed modifications to its Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule's (COPPA) safe harbor program. As previously covered in InfoBytes, COPPA regulates what websites and online services are required to do to ensure the protection of children’s privacy and safety online. The safe harbor program allows the FTC to review and approve “self-regulatory guidelines” submitted by industry groups that implement “the same or greater protections for children” as those contained in the COPPA Rule, and subjects approved groups to safe harbor review and disciplinary procedures instead of formal enforcement action. Among the approved modifications is a change which requires all participants to conduct a comprehensive annual internal assessment of any third-party or service provider that collects personal information from children on their websites or through online services.