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Author: Ayanna Alexander / Source: Bureau of National Affairs

Many products have certification programs to assure consumers that they meet certain standards, such as food labeled as USDA Organic, Kosher, or halal. Even websites that cater to children under the age of 13 can be certified to protect children’s privacy.

The Federal Trade Commission recently approved changes to one of those child privacy certification plans. Consulting and trust mark company TRUSTArc–formerly TRUSTe—asked the FTC approve modifications to its Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) safe harbor program, which certifies companies’ commitment to protecting children’s privacy. Under the rule implementing COPPA, the FTC can authorize companies or groups to operate self-regulatory compliance programs. Those that comply with the law can be granted safe harbor from COPPA rule enforcement.

The TrustArc move came after New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (D) announced a settlement with the company for allegedly failing to adequately assess companies’ websites for compliance with COPPA. These flaws left “visitors to popular children’s websites vulnerable to illegal tracking technologies prohibited by COPPA,” Rachel Shippee, a spokeswoman for Schneiderman, told Bloomberg BNA. Settling the allegations, TRUSTArc agreed to pay a $100,000 penalty and strengthen…

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