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TRUSTe Settles COPPA Safe Harbor Enforcement Action with NYAG-Children's Online Privacy Protection Act

TRUSTe has settled allegations by the New York Attorney General that it did not adequately assess whether companies certified under its Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) Safe Harbor seal program allowed third party sites to track children. TRUSTe agreed to pay $100,000 and will be required to adopt new procedures to make its COPPA Safe Harbor certification review process more rigorous. 

TRUSTe’s Children’s Privacy Program is an authorized safe harbor scheme that requires TRUSTe to carry out at least one yearly comprehensive evaluation of its customer’s websites to ensure they remain in compliance with COPPA. Under COPPA, companies are required to obtain parental consent before permitting any tracking of children under 13. While TRUSTe carried out electronic scans of seal program participants’ websites for third party tracking technology, the NYAG alleged that TRUSTe failed to perform similar searches of those companies’ child-directed webpages. The NYAG also alleged that TRUSTe failed to provide its customers with complete results of the investigations, including information on the tracking software they uncovered in their scans.

This settlement comes two years after TRUST found itself in hot water with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over allegations that the privacy company neglected to re-certify more than 1,000 companies between 2006 and 2013 under the EU-US Safe Harbor program in place at the time.

© 2017 Keller and Heckman LLP

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About this Author

Sheila Millar, Keller Heckman, advertising lawyer, privacy attorney
Partner

Sheila A. Millar counsels corporate and association clients on advertising, privacy, product safety, and other public policy and regulatory compliance issues.

Ms. Millar advises clients on an array of advertising and marketing issues.  She represents clients in legislative, rulemaking and self-regulatory actions, advises on claims, and assists in developing and evaluating substantiation for claims. She also has extensive experience in privacy, data security and cybersecurity matters.  She helps clients develop website and app privacy policies,...

202-434-4646
Tracy Marshall, Keller Heckman, regulatory attorney, for-profit company lawyer
Partner

Tracy Marshall joined Keller and Heckman in 2002. She assists clients with a range of business and regulatory matters.

In the business and transactional area, Ms. Marshall advises for-profit and non-profit clients on corporate organization, operations, and governance matters, and assists clients with structuring and negotiating a variety of transactions, including purchase and sale, marketing, outsourcing, and e-commerce agreements.

In the privacy, data security, and advertising areas, she helps clients comply with privacy, data security, and consumer protection laws, including laws governing telemarketing and commercial e-mail messages, contests and sweepstakes, endorsements and testimonials, marketing to children, and data breach notification. Ms. Marshall also helps clients establish best practices for collecting, storing, sharing, and disposing of data, and manage outsourcing arrangements and transborder data flows. In addition, she assists with drafting and implementing internal privacy, data security, and breach notification policies, as well as public privacy policies and website terms and conditions. 

202-434-4234
Nathan Cardon, Keller Heckman, product safety attorney, labor lawyer
Associate

Nathan Cardon joined Keller and Heckman in 2013.  Mr. Cardon practices in the areas of product safety, privacy, and advertising.

In his product safety practice, Mr. Cardon counsels clients on risk management and product safety strategies, as well as on compliance with Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) requirements, including new requirements under the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA). 

In the privacy and advertising practice, Mr. Cardon is involved in a wide variety of privacy, data...

202-434-4254