COPPA Compliance For Ecommerce Websites

The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act was enacted in 1998 by the US government with the sole aim to protect children’s privacy who give personal information to the websites and other digital platforms. If you are a website owner and you collect personal information from children under the age of 13, residing in the USA, your website needs to adhere to COPPA compliance. The law applies to all US businesses and other foreign businesses who collect personal information from children under the age of 13, living in the USA.

The last amendment was made and became effective on July 1st, 2013 and if you want to do your business smoothly and without any legal hindrances, you need to comply with COPPA guidelines strictly.

When COPPA applies to your business?

If you are having a website or a mobile app that operates under US jurisdiction and run on the servers hosted in the US, you are required to follow COPPA guidelines. Also, if you are operating a business in multiple countries and your business headquarter is located in the USA, you need to adhere to COPPA compliance.

What is personal information as per the COPPA law?

There is no specific definition available for personal information. Personal information means any type of information that can help to identify the person and in the case of COPPA, children under the age of 13. Some of the information types are a nameaddressemail idphone numbergeological informationsecurity numbersresidential or office address, usernames of websites or social media accounts, IP address, cookies, photos, audio, video, and other such information.

If your website or app asking for personal information optionally, in that case too, you need to have your website COPPA compliant.

COPPA compliance for eCommerce websites

If you are an eCommerce website owner and you want to adhere to COPPA compliance, you need to ensure that you hire Magento experts who have extensive experience and expertise in the domain and can help you out throughout the process. If you search on the internet, you will find many such Magento compliance experts who can help you out to acquire a COPPA compliance certification.

It is essential for all the websites and mobile apps including e-commerce websites to adhere to COPPA compliance to continue doing businesses. If you fail to maintain it, you might be charged and get penalties for breaching the compliance act.

Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has enforced this regulation and for the online privacy of children under the age of 13. What FTC does is it checks and evaluates whether you have used elements in your website content that can lure children to visit your website or app. Some of the examples of these elements are child models, celebrities, animated characters, child-geared activities or child-geared videos and images.

Even if you don’t directly collect personal information, but allow children to share such information via chat of other forms of communication channels, your Magento website must be COPPA compliant.

A guide to become COPPA compliant on Magento

You visit any random website and you will find a common separate page in all listed as “Privacy Policy”. This page contains all the information about the data you collect from the users and other stakeholders. You need to hire a professional content writer to write down a detailed privacy policy that depicts how you collect data and how you and other third-party plugins or as networks. You need to describe them exactly what you are collecting, how you are collecting and how you and other parties are using this personal data collected from the users.

In the case of COPPA compliance, website owners need to get consent from the parents before children can get access to the website. You need to give a direct notice including the online privacy policy and collect the verifiable consent in the form of the physical consent form, a registered Government ID, a toll-free phone call, a signed and mailed document or a photo verification of the parent.

Not just that, once you have received the consent of parents, you need to remain COPPA compliant by allowing them to withdraw the consent at any given time.

In addition to that, whenever you want to make necessary amendments or changes in your website, especially in the verification or account creation process, you need to ensure that those changes are assessed first as per the compliant workflows and then only implement to avoid any troubles afterwards.

Budgeting for COPPA compliance

When you are configuring your Magento website to be COPPA compliant, there are some expenditures you are inviting to make the website a full compliant. Hence, you need to go for budgeting for COPPA compliance to allocate some funds specifically for this purpose.

You might need some spending for hardware, security and processes changes, policy application and evaluation from personnel and legal divisions and workflow education and training and service auditing from third parties and other hardware or software devices.

Why hire Magento compliance experts?

If you are a start-up with zero or little knowledge about legal matters especially about compliance and regulatory affairs, it is very crucial to take the help of professionals to avoid any legal disputes and hindrances. There are Magento compliance experts with adequate experience, ready to serve you. These experts possess sheer expertise in such compliance and regulations and will plan and implement required necessities to make your Magento website COPPA compliant.

All you need to do is reach out Magento development services provider company and they will do the rest.

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