On July 31, 2017, the Federal Trade Commission announced that it has approved modifications to TRUSTe’s safe harbor program under the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule (the “COPPA Rule”).
The COPPA Rule incorporates a “safe harbor” provision that allows companies and industry groups to seek the FTC’s approval for self-regulatory frameworks that implement “the same or greater protections for children” as those set forth in the COPPA Rule. If a company participates in a self-regulatory framework, it will largely be subject to the enforcement procedures in the safe harbor instead of the FTC investigation and enforcement procedures.
As we previously reported, TRUSTe proposed to modify its safe harbor program to require participants to conduct an annual internal assessment of third parties’ collection of personal information from children on their websites or online services.
The FTC received a handful of comments on TRUSTe’s proposed changes from industry groups and concerned citizens, and ultimately voted 2-0 to approve the modifications to TRUSTe’s safe harbor program.