Law360 has published an expert analysis piece on the state of privacy litigation under the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”), 15 U.S.C. §§ 6501 et seq. The statute imposes strict requirements on commercial websites and online services that collect or maintain the personal information of children under the age of 13. The restrictions also apply to third-party vendors who acquire or otherwise interact with any of that information. Lieff Cabraser has been a forerunner in pursuing litigation on behalf of parents whose children’s data has been improperly acquired, shared, and monetized in a series of lawsuits against companies like Viacom and The Walt Disney Company as well as the creators of some vastly popular children’s games and apps like Subway Surfers.
Under COPPA, websites and online service providers must give notice of the information collected, how this information is being used, and their disclosure practices. They must also obtain verifiable parental consent before disclosing the child’s personal information, which means “the provider must use reasonable efforts to ensure a child’s parent receives the requisite notice and provides authorization.”
Websites and online service providers must also insure that reasonable procedures are set in place to protect the confidentiality, security and integrity of a child’s collected personal information. Companies also run afoul when they seek to monetize information collected from and about children via advertising and related tracking practices.
Violators of COPPA may receive civil penalties of up to $40,654 per violation, depending on numerous factors, including how severe the violation was, the number of children involved, how much information was collected and used, and any history of prior violations.
Help Us Stop Illegal Child Data Collection
Giant media companies and digital ad networks directly profit by tracking and accumulating information about kids to generate comprehensive and detailed profiles of children without parental permission. Recent governmental investigations and lawsuits in New York and elsewhere reveal that numerous major game and app manufacturers allow third-parties to illegally access, collect, and profit from children’s personal information on some of the most popular children’s websites and mobile apps and games. Learn more about Child Privacy Data Breaches and significant ongoing violations of U.S. child privacy laws.
If you are interested in finding out more and helping us stop these practices, contact digital privacy lawyers Nicholas Diamand or Douglas Cuthbertson by using the form on this page or by calling us toll-free at 1 800 541-7358.