Less than two weeks after providing additional guidance on the recent changes to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”) Rule, in the form of updated Frequently Asked Questions, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) voted unanimously to retain the July 1, 2013 effective date for the changes to the COPPA Rule. The Commission’s vote came in response to a letter from representatives of a number of trade associations and industry groups, including the Internet Association, the Interactive Advertising Bureau, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the Application Developers Alliance. The letter asked the FTC to delay the compliance date for the changes to the COPPA Rule for six months – which would have made the new compliance date January 1, 2014 – in order to give businesses more time to comply with the revised rule’s new requirements. While the FTC rejected the request for a delayed compliance date, in its written response to the request the FTC wrote:
[W]e continue to be mindful of the impact of the Rule on businesses. As with all of our enforcement activities, the Commission will exercise prosecutorial discretion in enforcing the Rule, particularly with respect to small businesses that have attempted to comply with the Rule in good faith in the early months after the Rule becomes effective.
Our summary of the FTC’s changes to the COPPA Rule can be found here. The revised COPPA Rule will be effective on July 1, 2013.