Q: Are websites and online services operated by nonprofit organizations subject to the Rule?
A: COPPA expressly states that the law applies to commercial websites and online services and not to nonprofit entities that otherwise would be exempt from coverage under Section 5 of the FTC Act. In general, because many types of nonprofit entities are not subject to Section 5 of the FTC Act, these entities are not subject to the Rule. However, nonprofit entities that operate for the profit of their commercial members may be subject to the Rule. See FTC v. California Dental Association, 526 U.S. 756 (1999). Although nonprofit entities generally are not subject to COPPA, the FTC encourages such entities to post privacy policies online and to provide COPPA’s protections to their child visitors.