The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), in conjunction with states’ legislation, works hard to protect ⚔️ the rights of consumers on the Internet. One of the most important of these protections includes consumer privacy, which they protect with several social media privacy laws.
As a content creator, you need to keep your brand out of legal trouble by ensuring your social media accounts and website follow all the FTC’s and state’s legal requirements for consumer privacy.
Therefore, whether you’re unsure about your accounts’ compliance, or you just want to brush up on your knowledge, check out the two social media privacy laws you MUST know as a content creator:
Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA)
Passed by Congress in 1998, the Children’s 👶 Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) was designed to provide parents and guardians with control over what personal information is collected from their children online.
More specifically, COPPA requires all websites that collect data from children under the age of 13 to disclose and obtain permission to do so from the children’s guardians.
COPPA comes into play for social media sites on which children are easily and most commonly targeted. Take, for example, the rise of child-targeted YouTube videos 📺 containing inappropriate material. In recent years, COPPA law compliance on YouTube has become so common that large penalties and channel terminations have become a big problem for a lot of creators.
Most commonly, COPPA strikes occur on videos that are misconstrued as “for kids” by, for example, containing cartoon-like characters or child-oriented activities within an adult-rated video. Other times, social media users get into trouble by labeling their content as appropriate for kids, even though children are not the intended audience.
Ultimately, FTC penalties for mislabeling a YouTube video as “safe for kids” can amount to $42,530 💸 per video – so it’s certainly not something to mess with.
Therefore, any content creator who uses YouTube or any other social media platform should consult with a social media lawyer to ensure their content is COPPA compliant. Furthermore, anyone who decides to label their content as suitable for children should keep a detailed record of their reasons for doing so.
Finally, any content creators who redirect their followers from social media to a website must ensure that their website is also COPPA compliant ✔️. If you are not aware of how your website collects information from your visitors, check it out ASAP to ensure you are not accidentally allowing a third party to collect personal information from children under 13.
California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)
The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) was passed in 2018 to protect California residents’ personal information online. However, note that the CCPA is not only applicable to content creators who live in the state of California. In fact, any business of a specified size whose followers and/or website users live in California is legally required to comply with the CCPA.
Before the CCPA came into play, identity theft, harassment, and fraud slipped through the cracks much more easily. Now, the CCPA gives people the right to know what personal information online businesses take from them, how they take it, where they take it, and why.
Ultimately, the CCPA guidelines will most likely only refer to those content creators who are making a big profit by directing social media followers to their websites. More specifically, the law only applies to businesses that touch 50,000 pieces of consumer data per year 🗓️.
Therefore, while the CCPA also affects social media accounts, you should pay very close attention to it if you do a lot of business on your website.
Ultimately, ALL content creators should stay up to date on the evolution of social media privacy laws and have a general understanding of what they mean. However, influencers who produce content they deem suitable for children AND those who conduct extensive business online MUST educate themselves on the intricacies of these laws.
Penalties for non-compliance with COPPA and the CCPA can cost you tens of thousands of dollars 💰. Don’t let these laws affect your business – make sure you comply today.