Webmasters must guard kids' privacy
FCW's DotGov Thursday column looks at the emphasis being given to children's rights to privacy in a Webenabled world
"How to Comply With The Children's Online Privacy Protection Rule"
Not only is privacy a major issue on the Web for federal agencies, but particular emphasis is being given to children's rights to privacy in a Web-enabled world.
The Federal Trade Commission has a Web page for the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) that provides a guide on COPPA and a summary of most of the key issues related to children's privacy.
Although COPPA is aimed primarily at commercial Web sites that collect information from children, the law states that any "general-audience Web site" must comply with COPPA.
The key threshold question is whether the Webmaster or program office knowingly collects personal information from children. Any Web site that collects information from, encourages visits from, or provides information of general interest to children should take a hard look at COPPA.
The FTC has the overall responsibility for compliance with COPPA and can bring enforcement actions.
I highly recommend viewing the FTC's Kidz Privacy site for guidance on what is appropriate and inappropriate. Also, review the FTC privacy statement for what is appropriate for a privacy statement.
A search at the FTC site for "COPPA" or other keywords related to privacy statements for children brings up interesting text from many privacy associations.
Kellett is founder of the Federal Web Business Council, co-chairman of the Federal WebMasters Forum and is director of GSA's Emerging IT Policies Division.
NEXT STORY: Veto may stall IRS, Customs IT