You can collect some types of information about children over the Internet, but only in very limited circumstances. Generally, if you run a website that collects certain kinds of information about children, you must meet the following requirements:
- Put a clear and visible notice on the site that says that the site collects certain kinds of information about individuals visiting the site, including any children who visit the site
- A verifiable parental consent notice – basically a system that allows you to reasonably know that a parent gave consent to their child to visit the site. This could be accomplished by obtaining a copy of the parent’s I.D. through mail, fax, etc.
- At request from a parent, disclose exactly what information was obtained by the site about their child
Who Does This Rule Pertain To?
This rule pertains to anyone who operates a commercial website that collects information about children under 13 or collects information about the general audience, but the website owners have actual knowledge that the site collects information about children under 13.
What Kind of Information Is Covered under COPPR?
Certain information about the child that is collected through the website that enables other persons to identify the child is covered under the act:
- Full name
- Home address
- E-mail address
- Telephone number
- Any other information that would allow someone to identify and contact the child
What Can I Do if I Think that a Website Operator Has Been Collecting Information about My Child Illegally?
You may want to consult an attorney who has experience in cyberspace law. A business attorney will be able to advise you of your child’s rights and help you to stop the site from further collecting and using information about your child, as well as possibly help you get any money damages you might be entitled as a result of the unauthorized use of information.