What is COPPA & Why is it Important?

By Dylan Jomy2 min read · Posted Oct 2, 2022


Many famous content creators say that they have to abide by COPPA and its laws, preventing certain types of content from being exposed to viewers who are not of age. If you want to know what that means, this article will go over COPPA and explain what happens when a user does not abide by the laws.

What is COPPA?

COPPA stands for, “The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998". It's a federal law that urges online websites and service operators to protect the privacy of children under age 13. The Act was passed by Congress in 1998 and took effect in 2000.

What does COPPA do?

The purpose of COPPA is to strengthen the privacy and security of laws that affect children online. It also addresses the marketing techniques used on children in the 1990s. Since data was being collected from children’s devices without their parent's knowledge.

COPPA applies to every website, including all social media, for children under 13.

The FTC, otherwise known as the Federal Trade Commission, is an independent agency that protects consumers/users and ensures a market by enforcing antitrust laws and has established guidelines to ensure operators will comply.

How to Follow COPPA?

The FTC's guidelines are:

  • Post a clear and comprehensive online privacy policy describing your practices for collecting personal information (PI).
  • Make reasonable efforts to provide direct notice to parents regarding the collection, use, or disclosure of PI from children under 13.
  • Obtain verifiable parental consent.
  • Provide reasonable methods for a parent to review the PI.
  • Establish and maintain reasonable procedures to protect the confidentiality, security, and integrity of the PI collected from children under 13.
  • Retain PI collected online from a child for only as long as necessary to fulfill the purpose for which it was collected.

These rules are very hard to impose on many websites, so COPPA created a Safe Harbor Program in which organizations can submit self-regulatory guidelines to the FTC that implements COPPA's rules. Once approved, these groups can, in turn, certify websites that comply with the laws.

What happens if you don’t comply with COPPA?

$42,530 is the amount everyone believed the FTC would fine anyone disobeying COPPA's rules. $42,530 is also the current maximum fine per violation of COPPA. But, the law explicitly states that the violator's revenue decides the assessed fines. For example, a company called I-Dressup was fined $35,000 for failing to protect the personal info of 250,000 children. Larger fines are possible for bigger companies who can pay them off, such as Google paying $170 million on September 4 2019, for disobeying COPPA rules.


COPPA was established to help protect the privacy and security of children under the age of 13 from operators of online websites. It has done an outstanding job in restricting online websites to having more control over their young users. They have set the laws and have abided by punishing the guilty.


About The Author

Dylan Jomy


Hi, I am Dylan, an Article Editor at Pitch Labs! I am fascinated by business, finance, and the stock market. I also love to write, help, and inform people about economics-related topics. I plan to educate myself on business and STEM-related matters as well.

See more posts by Dylan Jomy



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