The FTC has decided not to pursue an enforcement action against Clearwater Aquarium for alleged violations of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection (“COPPA”) Rule.
After reviewing the website, the FTC concluded “that the information collection practices that had triggered CARU’s inquiry had been remedied.” The FTC declined to take any further action, instead referring the matter back to CARU.
CARU, a division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, is a self-regulatory body that monitors websites for compliance with COPPA. Although CARU’s self-regulatory program is completely voluntary, CARU may refer cases to the FTC if companies refuse to respond to inquiry letters. The FTC reviews CARU’s case referrals to determine whether enforcement action is appropriate. Although the FTC has initiated enforcement actions in response to CARU referrals in the past, the Clearwater Aquarium case is a reminder that the FTC may decide no further action is necessary.