Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, a.k.a. Child Privacy Law
The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 (COPPA) is a United States federal law enacted October 21, 1998.
Historical perspective: The social networking giant Facebook told the Obama
administration that child privacy laws should not apply to a Web site’s
ability to incorporate a “like” button, because that would inhibit free
expression. In 2012, the company argued that it had no control over sites
that incorporate social plug-ins, such as a “like” button, and should
therefore not be held liable under the child privacy law. A “like”
counts as free speech, the company has repeatedly argued, and muzzling a
user’s ability to “like” something on Facebook would infringe on a
user’s constitutional rights. “A government regulation that restricts
teens’ ability to engage in protected speech — as the proposed Coppa
Rule would do — raises issues under the First Amendment,” according to Facebook.
Coppa requires sites that collect personal
information on children to obtain written parental permission if the
child is under the age of 13. Facebook prohibits children under 13 from
signing up for its services, but studies have repeatedly shown that
millions of under-age children do so anyway, often with help from their
argues that it already tries to keep children under the age of 13 off
its site, but it cannot always control when someone under 13 visits a
Web site that contains a Facebook “like” button.