little girl and laptopOn June 21, 2017, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) updated one of its Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) compliance guides for businesses. Known as the “Six-Step Compliance Plan,” this document provides a step-by-step road map for determining if a company is covered by COPPA and what to do to comply.

COPPA applies to operators of websites and online services that collect “personal information” from children under 13 years of age, where the site or service is directed to children or has actual knowledge that it is collecting personal information from a child. COPPA’s coverage extends to a variety of online services, such as mobile apps, internet-enabled gaming platforms, and – in some cases – companies that collect personal information directly from users of another website or online service (such as ad networks and plug-ins).

Continue Reading FTC Updates COPPA Guidance for IoT and New Consent Options

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC or the Commission) announced yesterday that it has created a web-based guidance tool for developers of health-related mobile applications (health apps).  FTC did not take this action alone, but rather developed the tool in conjunction with the Department of Health and Human Services’s (HHS) Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), Office for Civil Rights (OCR), and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  As some readers will recall, FDA is not new to this space, having released a seminal guidance document on mobile medical apps early last year.  In its guidance document, FDA addresses, among other things, those apps that FDA intends to regulate as medical devices under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) and those for which the agency intends to exercise its enforcement discretion.  OCR has also recently issued guidance in this area, providing examples of scenarios where the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations might apply to health information created, managed, or organized through the use of health apps.

The FTC’s new health apps tool asks developers a series of high-level questions about the nature of the app, including questions about its function, the data it collects, and the services it provides to users.  These questions include the following: 
Continue Reading FTC Creates Compliance Tool for Mobile Health App Developers; Simultaneously Releases Business Guidance

The Clock Is Ticking – Is COPPA Compliance a “Mission Impossible”?

On July 1, 2013, sweeping new regulations for marketing to children take effect. In updating the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) Rule, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has extended its reach to new businesses and new information.

In this upcoming session presented by

Just in time for Christmas, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) has unveiled its long-anticipated update to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule (“COPPA Rule”).  The COPPA Rule, which has been in place since 1999, imposes a variety of privacy requirements on “operators” of websites and online services that are “directed to children” under

Carrying out a plan announced earlier this year, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) convened a day-long public workshop on “The Big Picture: Comprehensive Online Data Collection” on December 6, 2012.  The workshop was intended to examine the practices and privacy implications of “comprehensive” data collection about consumers’ online activities.  Data collection capabilities of entities like

The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) has released a new set of proposed amendments in its ongoing review of its Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”) regulations. These amendments would alter key definitions in the COPPA regulations, modifying the FTC’s original proposal from September 2011. If finalized, the FTC’s proposals to date will significantly change who

Yesterday, the FTC convened a day-long public workshop to discuss updating its “Dot Com Disclosures” guidance on presenting online advertising disclosures. The FTC is considering whether it should overhaul this guidance, which dates to 2000, to address current trends such as social media and mobile advertising. The workshop also included a panel devoted to mobile