COPPA and child-directed apps

In this article, we explain how we work with mobile apps that indicate to us that they are child-directed apps subject to the US Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”), and to other applicable data protection laws, such as the EU General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”), that restrict processing of information collected from children.

When a publisher adds a new app to the ironSource platform, or at any time while using the ironSource platform, the publisher can inform ironSource if the app is directed to children, as required by applicable law, as explained in this article.  Publishers are responsible for telling ironSource when an app is directed to children and otherwise ensuring their apps comply with law.  

How to flag an app as child-directed

If the app is primarily directed to children (as defined by the COPPA), the publisher should flag the app in its dashboard as follows. This flag will apply to all end-users of the app. Also, the flag will apply only with respect to ironSource’s own ad network, and will not have an effect on any third-party ad network. Please see below information regarding ironSource Mediation.

Please note that for all apps that participate in the Designed for Families program of Google Play, the publisher must flag each of those apps in the dashboard as child-directed.

How to flag a specific end-user as a child

If the app is partially, but not primarily, directed to children under the COPPA (sometimes called a mixed-audience app), and has implemented an age gate, then the publisher should flag the app as partially directed to children in its dashboard (see screenshot below).  In this case, the publisher should use COPPA SDK Functionality to flag specific end-users who have indicated that they are below the age of 13 (or another age as applicable to the publisher and app).
Publishers are responsible for determining whether an app is primarily directed to children or the app is permitted to use an age gate.

Read more about end-user flagging below: 

Android

iOS 

Unity 

ironSource collection and use of data from a child-directed app

For an app that is flagged as a child-directed app on the ironSource dashboard, or for a specific end-user flagged as a child via the COPPA SDK Functionality, ironSource will apply the following restrictions:

1)  We use the data that we collect (including the advertising ID and IP address) from a child-directed app only to serve contextual ads, for frequency capping, for fraud prevention, and for other activities to support our internal operations or the internal operations of the app, as permitted by the COPPA and other applicable regulations. 

2)     If we share persistent identifiers with third parties (such as advertisers, external bidders, etc.), we will add a specific parameter that indicates that the information cannot be used for behavioral advertising, profiling, or other purposes besides support for internal operations as defined by the COPPA. 

3)     We will not deliver survey ads or other campaigns that ask, prompt, encourage, or enable end-users to disclose personal information.

ironSource Mediation and child-directed apps

ironSource SDK introduced a client-side API to allow publishers to “flag” specific end-users as children. 

Please note that apps that are primarily directed to children, need to use the API if they would like to communicate to supported networks the status of the end-user.

Below is a list of SDK networks which currently support the API. For SDK networks that are not listed in the below table, you should contact them directly for information on how to properly flag end-users as children.

Network Supported adapter version Flag
  iOS Android Unity
ironSource 7.1.0 (SDK) 7.1.0.1 (SDK) 7.1.0.1 (SDK) is_child_directed
AdColony 4.3.8
(SDK 7.0.2)
4.3.7
(SDK 6.17.0)
4.3.9
(SDK 7.0.2)
AdColony_COPPA
AdMob 4.3.11
(SDK 6.14.0)
4.3.9
(SDK 6.14.0)
4.3.12
(SDK 6.14.0)
AdMob_TFCD
AdMob 4.3.11
(SDK 6.14.0)
4.3.9
(SDK 6.14.0)
4.3.12
(SDK 6.14.0)
AdMob_TFUA
AppLovin 4.3.15
(SDK 6.17.1)
4.3.15
(SDK 6.17.0)
4.3.18
(SDK 6.17.1)
AppLovin_AgeRestrictedUser
Pangle 4.1.5
(SDK 6.17.1)
4.1.2
(SDK 6.17.0)
4.1.7
(SDK 6.17.1)
Pangle_COPPA

App developers under the age of 13

ironSource’s terms and conditions prohibit app developers who are under age 13 from using our services as our customers.