Late in 2013 Roy Smith, founder of AgeCheq, helped us understand the implications that COPPA is going to have on the mobile app industry. COPPA is the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act and we’ve all been waiting for something to happen – for the FTC to find and fine the first infractor. Roy promised to come back and explain the findings when this actually happened and, just this past month, the FTC levied fines on two companies – Yelp and TinyCo – for COPPA-related violations.
Roy held up his end of the bargain and here is that conversation. We talk about the infractions against the two companies, the implications on both Yelp and TinyCo and our industry as well as a list of 5 tips to ensure you are – and remain – COPPA-compliant.
Download the 5 tips to COPPA-Compliance PDF
Key takeaways from this episode. Click on the link and the video will take you to that clip
1. The AgeCheq update 2:30
2. What were the infractions to TinoCo and Yelp? 14:00
3. Yelp’s infraction 15:00
4. The “kid” gradient 18:30
5. TinyCo’s infraction 22:10
6. The rails for developers and how they relate to COPPA 24:15
7. Is anyone taking COPPA seriously now? 27:00
8. Will COPPA force american companies to not release their apps in the US? 28:35
9. Why COPPA means the industry is gaining traction 32:50
10. What happens when you tell companies that they are not COPPA-compliant? 37:00
11. What are the 5 tips for developers to be COPPA-compliant 43:30
Transcript coming soon!
About Roy Smith
With a career centered on the creation of new technologies and markets that often disrupted existing industry incumbents, Roy Smith founded AgeCheq in 2013 after studying The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) from a developer perspective. Roy recognized that COPPA forces app developers to do many things that they are not good at, such as parental verification and permission, and it was clear to him that someone needed to build a central service to aggregate these functions for all app developers. With deep experience in gaming and app developer tools, Roy founded AgeCheq to meet this growing market need.
Roy has been in the consumer electronics industry since 1979 as an engineer, developer, marketer, and manager, leading companies to multimillion dollar revenue growth and multiple successful exits. An early disruptor in the personal computer industry, Roy co-founded Turtle Beach Systems in 1985, now the top U.S. provider of high quality immersive headphones for computer gaming. Turtle Beach is credited for bringing studio-quality sound to the PC, making it a viable platform for realistic games.
In 2006 Roy co-founded BroadClip, which in 2008 became FlyCast, the first successful radio streaming app for smartphones, with 4.5 million users and over 2,000 channels of content. In 2009 Roy founded appMobi as a mobile app development house. In 2010 appMobi was acquired by FlyCast as the company evolved to provide development tools for mobile apps as appMobi. Roy spearheaded branding and marketing efforts for appMobi, building the company to become the industry’s leading hybrid app development tool provider, and attracting the attention of Intel, which acquired appMobi’s tools division in February 2013.
Roy has participated on the board of directors for numerous startups, and cofounded WellspringFV, a tech startup incubator in 1998.
Having participated in the smartphone revolution from its start, Roy understands the app economy and envisions AgeCheq as the industry defacto solution for managing an app or game’s COPPA compliance. Roy believes AgeCheq represents an opportunity to make a “broken” system work well, for the good of app developers and for parents who want to regain control over the information their children share when using mobile devices.