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And kids don't lie about their age to gain access to things? COPPA is a joke.




I agree that COPPA is a joke, but the fact is you can get fined up to $11,000 per incidence, something I want to avoid. As long as I am making an effort to be COPPA compliant, I am safe. It's called covering your butt. The law is on the books, so it's bet to make sure your safe.
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If there's a message that says you have to be 13+, then obviously kids are going to change their birth year so they can register.




Of course kids can lie, but according to the law, if they do lie to gain access to a site, the site owner is safe and won't be in violation of the COPPA law if they don't know the kid lied to gain access to the site. Facebook uses this method in order to protect themselves as well.
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I was looking for the same thing a few months back. For now I had to turn on COPPA but change around the language bits to say users under the age of 13 can't register.




Thanks for the suggestions and it's good to know that others are also covering their butt's so they don't get hit with a fine. It would be nice if you could simply choose to show the COPPA forms or just a message.
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Private sites don't fall under the COPPA rules. If it's a commercial site that sells something and/or targets children specifically, then yes, it falls under COPPA.



Be careful offering legal advise when you aren't 100% sure. With COPPA, any website that could possibly allow kids to join needs to comply. Ive heard different stories on what "actual knowledge" means, but one of the most board uses I have seen is that "if anyone can register, it is to be assumed children will"


Who Must Comply


If you operate a commercial Web site or an online service directed to children under 13 that collects personal information from children or if you operate a general audience Web site and have actual knowledge that you are collecting personal information from children, you must comply with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act.


http://www.coppa.org/comply.htm

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I would like to see this option, too. What if a site doesn't want anyone under thirteen period? They shouldn't have to process forms.




Just don't process any of them. Deny the membership by ignoring the requests. Add a note to your registration that all members must be over 13, and younger requesting members will be rejected.
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Just don't process any of them. Deny the membership by ignoring the requests. Add a note to your registration that all members must be over 13, and younger requesting members will be rejected.




Guess you've got a point.

What if you don't put in an address/fax number? Are those areas just blank then?

I just think it would be easier/save time for both the administrator/member to deny membership and tell them they cannot register vs having to edit files and ignore requests.
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Private sites don't fall under the COPPA rules. If it's a commercial site that sells something and/or targets children specifically, then yes, it falls under COPPA.


Wrong. The purpose behind COPPA is to protect kids from having their personally identifiable information collected, period. It doesn't matter if your site is private, public, both, neither, etc. If your site is aimed at kids or if you know that those under 13 may try to join, then you are required to enforce it. I worked as a chat supervisor for a site aimed at kids and COPPA reviewed the site a few times to check for compliance. Any problems they found, they contacted the site owner with the details, including how it wasn't in compliance. They don't kid around (bad pun intended) when it comes to this stuff. The site owner never got into any trouble because they knew that he was trying to follow the rules and he would make any changes he could whenever an issue was found.

My personal advice for those that aren't planning to have kids (under 13) on their sites.. Enable COPPA and just leave the contact information blank. If someone asks where to send it, tell them that you actually don't allow anyone under 13 to join. Why do I recommend that? Because it's such a PITA in order to have underaged members that it's not worth it. The parents have to approve what information is allowed and you are responsible for erasing anything that isn't allowed. If a 12yr old girl gets on there (even with her parents permission) and happens to post her address (which they didn't approve) and someone else sees it before you remove it, YOU could be held responsible.

In my opinion, it's not worth the hassle. If they decide to lie about their age and they don't reveal their age, then there's nothing you can do about it and if anyone tries to claim you knew, a look through the database will prove otherwise.


An option to just deny membership to those under 13 would be a nice feature though. Simple and to the point.
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  • 3 months later...

I know it's an old topic, but I'm new to IPB and was searching on just this subject.

Personally, I would like to see coppa handled the way it is on VB. Where you have the option to turn it off, turn it on and allow registrations (both of which IPB does), plus a 3rd option similar to VB that allows you to just deny registration to anyone under 13, and set a cookie logging their b-day preventing them from going back and just changing the date. Sure, they could delete the cookie and start over, but most people under 13 yrs old would not think to delete cookies.

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  • 3 years later...

I know it's been three and a half years, but I still don't see a way to deny users under 13 access. According to COPPA you must provide a neutral form (ex: full birthdate without mentioning that they must be over 13) in order to collect their age, and then you can deny them access after they have entered the information. I just don't see a built-in way to do this, unless I'm missing something.

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I have my COPPA form hacked to deny access to members under my forums age requirement. It's just a matter of modifying the templates and/or language strings from what I remember.

I'll look sometime later tonight or tomorrow and post some step by step instructions for you if you'd like, unless someone else wants to beat me to it.

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If the user enters a birthday that makes them under 13 years old, they are presently denied registration and are presented with a COPPA form to have their legal guardian fill out.

They are not "denied" as in shown an error message, but they are not allowed to proceed with registration, which in effect denies them. As was mentioned, you could edit the language string to tell the user they are denied registration rather than request they fill out the COPPA form and send it back.

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