The Center for Digital Democracy has filed suit in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia against the Federal Trade Commmission alleging that it has wrongfully withheld records about online safe harbor programs that CDD sought under the Freedom of Information Act.
CDD is looking for annual reports to the FTC from various safe harbor programs under the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act.
The FTC's COPPA Rule (enforcing the COPPA law) requires operators of websites and online services directed to children under 13 to "provide notice and obtain permission from a child’s parents before collecting personal information from that child." The safe harbor allows an industry to develop its own COPPA oversight programs that the FTC vets. If the FTC approves, participating in the program is presumed to be compliance with COPPA restrictions on that personal information collection.