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Kids Privacy


Principles for Children's Online Activities

The Members of the Online Privacy Alliance believe that the development of interactive online communications provides tremendous opportunities for children. At the same time, it presents unique challenges for protecting the privacy of young children. Children under 13 are special. Unlike adults, they may not be fully capable of understanding the consequences of giving out personal information online. However, children often understand how to navigate online far better than their parents do. Parents will not always have the knowledge, the ability or the opportunity to intervene in their children's choices about giving out personal information. Therefore, companies operating online must protect the privacy of children.

In connection with online activities of children under 13, the Alliance adopts the following principles.

Companies doing business online that operate sites that are directed at children under 13 or at which the age of visitors is known, must at those sites:

  • Not collect online contact information from a child under 13 without prior parental consent or direct parental notification of the nature and intended use of this information, which shall include an opportunity for the parent to prevent use of the information and participation in the activity. This online contact information shall only be used to directly respond to the child's request and shall not be used to recontact the child for other purposes without prior parental consent.

  • Not collect individually identifiable offline contact information from children under 13 without prior parental consent.

  • Not distribute to third parties any individually identifiable information collected from a child under 13 without prior parental consent.

  • Not give the ability to children under 13 to publicly post or otherwise distribute individually identifiable contact information without prior parental consent. Sites directed to children under 13 must take best efforts to prohibit a child from posting contact information.

  • Not entice a child under 13 by the prospect of a special game, prize or other activity, to divulge more information than is needed to participate in that activity.

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