Key Points

  • Children's publishers are forced to follow a strict set of rules under the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).
  • These rules can complicate digital advertising, potentially constricting revenue or at least making it harder to come by.
  • But following COPPA rules is critically important for more reasons than one.

COPPA publishers aren't like other publishers. They are forced to follow an incredibly strict set of rules. It can be frustrating. It can appear to be a threat to your revenue. And it's enough to make you wonder:

What happens if I don't follow COPPA's rules?

As it turns out, a lot can happen to a publisher who won't follow the rules set forth in this federal law. We'll discuss some of those potential consequences below, but first, there's some good news: You can follow all of the rules of COPPA and run an extremely profitable advertising monetization game. We'll get into that later in this article, too. Read on.

Feeling frustrated or even fearful about the rules of COPPA? We hear you, and we're here for you. Reach out to Playwire for help navigating COPPA and growing your ad revenue at the same time.

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Children's Online Privacy Protection Act: Guidelines for Advertising According to COPPA Laws

5 Reasons to Follow COPPA's Rules

It's OK to be frustrated by some of the requirements of COPPA while still recognizing that you have to follow the rules. In fact, there are several really good reasons to adhere to COPPA requirements. We discuss five of the most important ones below:

1. They're Actually Meant to Protect Children

Here's the thing about COPPA that's easy to forget: It was actually created to protect children's online data privacy. We can all agree that's a noble pursuit, and we've all seen instances of bad actors who would inappropriately target children based on their personal information.

It has changed a lot in the two-plus decades it has existed, but COPPA has always been about protecting children from inappropriate content. It was created at a time when the internet was changing rapidly, and while it has been slow to adapt to some changes over the years, its purpose remains intact.

The problem, of course, is that it can make life much harder for children's content creators. Fortunately, Playwire has built a solution that assures direct notice is given to parents regarding all content featured on your website or mobile app in order to gain proper and verifiable parental consent so you can follow every COPPA regulation, and keep the revenue rolling in.

2. Failure to Follow COPPA Rules Means Huge Fines

We need to address the bottom line: There are really, really big financial reasons to follow COPPA's rules. This is a federal law administered by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). In case you're not familiar, federal agencies don't play around when it comes to rule breakers.

Need some hard numbers to back that up? Try $400,000 - that's the average fine the FTC throws out for COPPA violations. And the largest fine on record at the time of this writing was around $4 million. 

If that doesn't convince you that COPPA is meant to be followed, few things will.

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COPPA Resource Center

The Complete COPPA Resource Center

3. And Expensive Litigation

Here's the other costly downside of not following COPPA: You might get entangled in some very expensive litigation. Fines may only be the beginning. If you contest the fines or do something that might be worthy of additional legal action, you might find yourself in court. There, expect to pay a tremendous amount in legal fees, regardless of the outcome.

4. You Don't Want Bad Press

Don't make the mistake of thinking that a COPPA violation is just between you and the FTC. For big, high-profile cases, the press often gets involved. The headlines are almost too easy because COPPA violations sound like someone isn't doing what they're supposed to do when it comes to children's personal data.

Nobody needs that kind of bad press, but if you are non-compliant with COPPA, it's what you're risking. The only way to be sure you're not going to get bad press for a COPPA violation is to not violate COPPA.

5. And You Might Get Blacklisted

Maybe you don't care about bad press. Maybe you have money to burn on fines. But what about your inventory? What would happen if advertisers stopped buying your ad inventory?

For most publishers, that would be an existential threat. That's why it's important to remember: Both publishers and advertisers want to be in compliance with COPPA. So, if you're a publisher who has violated COPPA, advertisers might want to avoid working with you.

It's a part of their responsibilities as outlined in COPPA - they have to be proactive in ensuring that their purchase of an ad placement isn't the result of COPPA-violating targeting or other data collection misuse involving children younger than 13.

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COPPA Compliance Training for Publishers

COPPA Compliance Training for Publishers

Need Help with the COPPA Rules?

Whether you're feeling like you're not actually in compliance with COPPA or you're worried that COPPA compliance will keep you from bringing in the ad revenue you need to keep the lights on, you're in a frustrating and, frankly, scary situation.

But there's no reason to face all of this on your own - not when Playwire is here. We've innovated real solutions for COPPA publishers that keep them in total compliance while taking their revenue to heights they only dreamed about before.

It's a purpose-built platform made with your revenue in mind. You can do programmatic advertising and leverage real, valuable data while remaining in complete COPPA compliance if you work with Playwire. Contact us to find out how.

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