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New FTC resource assists dentists in COPPA compliance

June 22, 2017 Washington — The Federal Trade Commission has a new online resource available to assist businesses that operate websites and online services in complying with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act.

The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act or COPPA, is a federal law designed to put parents in control of the online information that is collected from their children. Dental practices whose websites collect personal information need to comply with COPPA if they collect information such as persistent identifiers from children under 13, or if they permit third parties to do so. In order to be compliant, a practice must take steps such as having a COPPA-compliant privacy policy and getting parental consent before collecting some types of information from children under 13.

In the Children's Online Privacy Protection Rule: A Six-Step Compliance Plan for Your Business, the FTC provides a step-by-step plan for determining if your practice is covered by COPPA and if so how to comply.

The six steps are:

  • Determine if your company is a website or online service that collects personal information from kids under 13.
  • Post a privacy policy that complies with COPPA.
  • Notify parents directly before collecting personal information from their kids.
  • Get parents' verifiable consent before collecting personal information from their kids.
  • Honor parents' ongoing rights with respect to personal information collected from their kids.
  • Implement reasonable procedures to protect the security of kids' personal information.
The resource also contains a chart explaining COPPA's Verifiable Parental Consent Requirement.

The ADA book, A Dentist's Guide to the Law: 228 Things Every Dentist Should Know, contains information about COPPA compliance and is available in the ADA Catalog. Readers can save 15 percent on this and all ADA Catalog products with promo code 17131 until Aug. 31. To order, visit or call 1-800-947-4746.