Legal Issues: Addressing Marketing to Minors

Are you the owner of a business? Do you make social media content for a business? If so, there are some important points to know about your content and it getting in the reach of minors. Minors are more easily persuaded than adults and some of the content that you post may not be the best for children. This can lead to your business getting into big legal issues that may cost your business a lot of money. There are laws in place to help with this and should be followed by all businesses and content creators.

Photo by Mikhail Pavstyuk on Unsplash

COPPA

The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), managed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), is a federal law that was made in 1998 to finally address the issues of marketing to minors by giving requirements to operators of online services. These laws were not yet put into effect until the year 2000. They apply to any website that collects data from minors.

COPPA Requirements:

  1. Data collected on children must have a way to be erased after a certain amount of time.
  2. You must have verifiable consent from an approved age individual.
  3. Devices that can be connected to internet and targeted to kids have to meet data security standards.
  4. You must show a straight-forward policy, that is translated to where kids will understand, on how the data is used.
  5. Give a reasonable notice of your data intentions to the parents of the minor.
  6. Establish procedures to protect the information collected of the minor.

Other ways to assist in this is to ask the necessary questions in addition to COPPA laws. Some questions to ask may be their date of birth or what grade they are in.

Negative Financial Impact for YouTube

In September of 2019, YouTube was fined $170 million by the Federal Trade Commission because they did not follow the COPPA’s requirements. After this event they then established a way to comply with these rules by having their content creators list whether their channel or a specific video is child related. The videos that are labeled child related would not have the ability to collect data from minors.

If you have a business or are a content creator make sure to read over COPPA laws and others so that you are not stuck in legal issues.

Published by QuDeja Green

I am a student at Coastal Carolina University.

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