Yes, COPPA is real.
In Season 4, Episode 2 of HBO’s Silicon Valley, the startup team Pied Piper is surprised to learn that a majority of their user base is under 13. They are even more surprised when they learn that they could face fines of $21 billion.
So, what exactly is COPPA?
The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) basically says that if you run a website or web app that collects information from someone you know is under 13, you have to comply with a set of requirements. The chief requirement is that you obtain verifiable consent from the child’s parent or guardian. Otherwise, your site simply shouldn’t allow users who are under 13 and should kick them off if you find out about them.
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