By law, child-directed products require an added layer of protection when dealing with PII (Personally Identifiable Information). PII can include real names, phone numbers, email addresses, physical addresses, and more.
In the US, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) dictates how websites, online services, or apps that are marketed to children under 13 handle PII.
And it’s not just products that are directed specifically to children — if your product is marketed at a general audience but includes age-gated sections, any features that are directed at children must be COPPA compliant.
The penalties for not maintaining COPPA compliance are strict — fines can reach up to $40,000 per child on your platform. Numbers like that can cripple a business.
As well, the EU recently put into effect the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which includes regulations for under-16 users. The GDPR will begin to take effect in May 2018, but companies are advised to review and prepare for the upcoming regulation as early as possible.
The first step is ensuring that your under-13 or under-16 users cannot share PII on your platform. The best way to do that? Use a trusted and proven text and username filter for automated PII detection. As the team that helped build the original safety and support tools for Disney Club Penguin (one of the world’s largest kid’s games with over 300 million users), we are uniquely poised to fill this niche.
We’ve created a set of community guidelines specifically for children’s products to aid in COPPA and GDPR compliance. And to demonstrate our commitment to safety in kid’s social products, we work closely with companies like the kidSAFE Seal program, AgeCheq, and Privo.
We’ve done the hard work for you — by analyzing millions of lines of real chat, we’ve identified the many ways that users attempt to bypass traditional filters, and built defenses against them. Our team monitors language trends daily to ensure that our text and username filter remains up-to-date.
In recognition of our high level of security, Community Sift has been awarded a kidSAFE seal. The kidSAFE Seal is an independent safety certification that offers a seal of approval for children-friendly websites and apps. Community Sift underwent rigorous testing and independent review to achieve kidSAFE certification, including proven safety measures for chat, community, and social features.
Our team of industry experts is passionate about keeping kids safe online and helping products with standards and best practices. We would love to discuss how we can help you on your road to COPPA and GDPR compliance.
Of course, we also strongly recommend a COPPA or GDPR review by a 3rd party to look at your privacy statement, account creation process, and internal storage of data. The FTC provides a 6-step checklist to achieving COPPA compliance that we highly recommend you review. The Information Commissioner’s Office has created an overview of the new GDPR regulations that we encourage companies in the EU to read.