In August 2017, Disney and three of its software developer vendors were sued in a class action in California in which it was alleged that Disney collected children’s information in violation of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 (COPPA). In May 2011, a Disney subsidiary, Playdom, agreed to pay a $3M settlement to the FTC for the same practices. This was a settlement, which implies that an award could have been much greater had it gone to trial. The bottom line is that even Disney, which claims to have a robust compliance program and would presumably have the resources to ensure compliance, has been brought to task under COPPA. Joe Leibowitz, then chairman of the FTC, stated:
“Let’s be clear: Whether you are a virtual world, a social network, or any other interactive site that appeals to kids, you owe it to parents and their children to provide proper notice and get proper consent. It’s the law, it’s the right thing to do, and, as today’s settlement demonstrates, violating COPPA will not come cheap.”
What is COPPA?
COPPA is a federal statute that governs the collection of information from children under the age of 13. Among other things, COPPA requires a website operator to provide notice on the website as to what information is collected, how the information is used, and the operator’s disclosure practices. Importantly, the website operator is required under the statute to obtain verifiable parental consent for the collection, use or disclosure of personal information from children….to read this article in full, CLICK HERE.