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Who Must Comply

Businesses, groups, and individuals that collect information from children must comply with COPPA. Two broad categories exist:

  • Operators of commercial websites and online services “directed to children” that collect personal information from children
  • Operators of general audience websites that have actual knowledge that the site collects personal information from children

The FTC weighs several factors in determining whether a site is directed to children:

  • Subject matter
  • Visual or audio content
  • The age of models on the site
  • Language
  • Whether advertising on the site is directed to children
  • Information regarding the age of the actual or intended audience
  • Whether a site uses animated characters or other child-oriented features

The FTC determines whether someone is a web-site operator by considering the following:

  • Ownership and control of the information.
  • Payment for the collection and maintenance of information
  • Pre-existing contractual relationships
  • What role the website plays in collecting or maintaining information

Inside Who Must Comply