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*FTC Issues Warnings for COPPA Noncompliance

The Federal Trade Commission yesterday launched an e-mail initiative to warn children’s Web site operators that they must comply with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act.

The warnings are a result of FTC Web surfing by staffers to check on children’s sites for COPPA compliance. About half of the visited sites that collect children’s data appeared to be in violation.

An FTC statement said that e-mails are being sent to “scores” of sites, but specific site names were not released.

Other FTC initiatives include the addition of a page to its Web site to educate people about COPPA, a partnership with the U.S. Department of Education to provide schools with information about the measure, and a public training program on COPPA compliance for Web site operators.

COPPA, which went into effect on April 21, requires Web sites that collect information from children younger than 13 to obtain parental consent and post privacy policies. Errant sites will incur civil penalties of $11,000 per violation.

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