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COPPA Privacy Law Highlights the Necessity for a Good Policy Management System

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COPPA Privacy Law Highlights the Necessity for a Good Policy Management System

Revisions made to Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) in December 2012, will take effect July 1 and will directly affect any companies that collect, store or transmit any information from children under the age of 13 online (i.e. gaming companies, social networks, etc.). Consequently, many companies affected by the ruling are finding themselves scrambling to stay compliant.

While the original COPPA has been in effect since 2000, the revised rule has expanded the definition of personal information to include pictures, videos and audio recordings of children, as well as any persistent identifiers, such as cookies or IP addresses. Therefore, companies are now tasked with screening website visitors, a daunting job as sites not targeted to children may still get a high volume of young visitors. Another issue companies face is learning how to tackle mobile devices used by multiple family members—both parents and children—and discerning one user from another.

Forward-looking companies can navigate issues arising from the COPPA revisions by ensuring that they have an effective compliance program and policy management system in place. An integrated GRC solution would arm companies affected by COPPA with the means to effectively react and respond to policy change. Central to a company’s successful compliance are policy management and employee training. A solid policy management system provides a central repository for all policies, eliminating confusion between multiple drafts and outdated copies, while engaging compliance training equips your workforce with the knowledge to stay abreast of policy changes and make the adjustments necessary to stay compliant.

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