69% of Parents Post Pictures of Their Children Online Despite Privacy Concerns; 1 in 5 Have Helped Their Child to Set Up an Online Account on a Website That Required They Were Over 13

San Francisco, April 1, 2015 – According to a recent study of parents of pre-teens (of children aged 0-13) conducted by Ipsos and commissioned by TRUSTe, 69% of those surveyed say they post pictures of their children online, with more than 1 in 3 (35%) posting pictures once a month or more often. This is perhaps surprising given that 58% of parents said they are concerned about their child’s privacy online, with 82% saying that they believe it is their primary responsibility, as parents or legal guardians, to protect their child’s personal information on the internet.

One quarter of parents (24%) do not allow their children to use the internet. Of those that do 76% were concerned about their child’s online privacy. The top cause of concern for these parents is that their child would be exposed to content online which is not appropriate (57%) followed by the concern that their child would share personal information online (44%), share personal information they would later regret (43%) or meet people online (42%). Just under half (47%) said their child knew nothing about the issues surrounding privacy online. Despite these concerns, close to 1 in 5 (19%) said they have helped their child set up an account on a website that required they were over 13 (e.g. YouTube, Facebook).

Findings from the TRUSTe 2015 Privacy Index, Kids Edition are based on data from an online survey conducted in the US by Ipsos, with 1,000 adults aged 18-75 of which 200 were parents of a child aged 0 to 13 years of age. Fieldwork was carried out between November 28 and December 5 2014.  The study was commissioned by TRUSTe, the leading data privacy management company.

Websites that collect information from children under the age of 13 are required to comply with the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). Primarily, this rule requires the request of parental consent for the collection or use of any personal information of website users under the age of 13.

“Regulators have taken a firm stance to protect the personal information of children online,” said Chris Babel, CEO, TRUSTe. “Companies that collect data from children under the age of 13 online must take the necessary steps to comply with the COPPA rule in order to avoid regulatory fines and build consumer trust. Given that our survey results show that while parents are concerned they don’t always protect their children’s privacy online companies need to work with parents and their children to ensure transparency and help protect children’s data.”

TRUSTe’s COPPA/Kids Privacy Certification allows businesses to easily demonstrate the child-friendly nature of their website or app while ensuring compliance with the COPPA Rule and alleviating parental concerns over the safety of their children’s information. TRUSTe’s COPPA Assessments include a comprehensive review of data collection and usage practices powered by our Privacy Consultants and state-of-the-art Data Privacy Management (DPM) Platform. Privacy practices are reviewed against COPPA regulatory requirements, industry programs, and recognized best practices and revealed in a findings report. Learn more at http://www.truste.com/business-products/coppa.

About TRUSTe
TRUSTe is the leading global Data Privacy Management (DPM) company and powers privacy compliance and trust by enabling businesses to safely collect and use customer data across their customer, employee, and vendor channels. Our SaaS-based DPM Platform gives users control over all phases of data privacy management from conducting assessments and implementing compliance controls to managing ongoing monitoring. Our DPM Services, including assessments and certifications, are delivered by an expert team of privacy professionals. Thousands of companies worldwide rely on TRUSTe to minimize compliance risk and protect their brand.

Research Methodology
The research was conducted by Ipsos using an online survey among a representative quota sample of 1,000 adults aged 18-75 in the US between November 28 and December 5 2014. Among these, 243 were parents and 200 were parents of a child aged 0-13, 118 of whom reported that they were concerned about the privacy online of a child aged 0-17. Survey data were weighted by age, gender, region and working status to known population proportions.

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