Child protection app should protect kids’ personal data, too
Parents purchase child protection apps to shield their children from sexting, child predators, bullying and all other inappropriate content.
But they should also make sure the app they choose complies with federal laws that protect kids’ personal data as well.
Passed by the US Congress in 1998 and effective in April 2000, the Children’s Online Privacy
Protection Act (COPPA) was created to protect the privacy of children younger than 13 years of age.
The act is managed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
That means that child protection apps that are COPPA compliant do not collect, share or sell a child’s personal information to anyone.
Here’s how parents can determine if a child protection app is COPPA compliant before they purchase it:
- Make sure the website or app does not collect information from children age 13 or younger.
- That includes collecting or selling the child’s name, address, email address, screen name, social security number, photo, or any other information about the child or parent that is collected from the child and is combined with one of these identifiers, the FTC said.
- Be sure that the app or its website posts its policy about the collection of children’s data.
- The information contained in that child protection COPPA compliance policy should be easy to access and easy to read.
- Has a toll-free number answered by a live individual to answer questions like how the app protects children from data collection and provides other pertinent information for app purchasers.
“When it comes to the collection of personal information from children under 13, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) puts parents in control,” said the FTC on its website. “Parents should understand COPPA and how apps they purchase are or are not compliant.”