Emily Tabatabai Discusses the FTC's Updated COPPA FAQs

July.24.2014

Privacy attorney Emily Tabatabai recently spoke with DataGuidance about the Federal Trade Commission's newly updated FAQs regarding the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act 1998 (COPPA). The updated FAQs contain three changes relevant to mobile apps that focus on alternative mechanisms for obtaining verifiable parental consent (VPC) among other things.

"There is still a lot of open questions as to how these [alternative] methods will be implemented in practice."

The remaining changes make clear that a third party, such as an app store, can develop platform based mechanisms to obtain VPC on behalf of app developers for child directed apps. In addition, it is confirmed that app stores providing these third party platform based consent mechanisms would not be liable for COPPA compliance short comings in apps run on their platforms.
 
Tabatabai noted these clarifications, "should encourage app stores to develop innovative platform based parental consent mechanisms […] which have the potential to be the most reliable and cost effective compliance option for small app developers."
 
Certified as an information privacy professional in both U.S. and European privacy law (CIPP/US and CIPP/E) by the International Association of Privacy Professionals (“IAPP”), Ms. Tabatabai works with clients to comply with the various laws, regulations and best practices governing the collection and use of personal data. She has advised companies on compliance, investigations, and litigation involving a variety of federal and state law obligations, including under the Federal Trade Commission Act, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA), state data breach notification laws, California Online Privacy Protection Act (CalOPPA) and others.