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The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 (COPPA) is a federal law that prohibits websites from knowingly collecting and maintaining the online information and privacy of children under the age of 13. COPPA gives parents control of information collected from their children online. The law was enacted on October 21, 1998 and became effective April 21, 2000. COPPA violations are subject to civil penalties (up to $11,000 for each violation).
On December 19, 2012, the FTC introduced changes and updates to COPPA in the wake of the December 14 shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
COPPA applies to any online collected data about children, including a child's name, address, phone number and email address, and covers other types of data tied to a child's personal information, like interests, hobbies or data derived from cookies or other tracking mechanisms.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) enforces oversight and compliance of the COPPA law and rule, which applies to the following: