On August 6, 2014, the Federal Trade Commission announced that it had approved another Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”) safe harbor provider.
Following a period of public comment, the FTC approved the Safe Harbor Program of iKeepSafe.
The FTC’s COPPA Rule allows industry members and others to develop their own “safe harbor” programs to ensure that online sites and services directed at children under 13 provide notice and obtain permission from a child’s parent before collecting information from the child.
To obtain FTC approvals, safe harbor programs must include: (1) a requirement that participants implement substantially similar requirements that provide the same or greater protections for children as those in the COPPA rule; (2) an effective and mandatory mechanism for independent assessment of compliance; and (3) discipline for noncompliance.
Generally, a website using one of the safe harbor programs are subject to review and disciplinary procedures provided by the safe harbor provider rather than the FTC.
The iKeepSafe application received four comments during the public comment period. To address some concerns raised by the comments, iKeepSafe changed “permissive” language in its application to “mandatory.” The original application can be found here.