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COPPA Makes its Mark on HBO’s Silicon Valley

You know you’ve made it when you’re featured on HBO’s hit comedy, Silicon Valley, the show that portrays the hilarious ups and downs of a Bay Area tech start-up.  The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) got a starring role last week in the second episode – “Term of Service” – of the show’s 4th Season on HBO.
To recap, Dinesh Chugtai, CEO of the company that developed the wildly popular app “PiperChat,” has a breakdown when he realizes that the video chat app violates COPPA because 1/3 of its users are kids under 13 years old.  He loses his power-trip swagger when the start-up’s ex-con lawyer tells him about the $16,000 per usage violation –potential fines in the billions of dollars – and eventually collapses in a pitiful heap in the company bathtub. 
What Dinesh and the show’s writers don’t know is that it in June 2016, the FTC announced that it would be increasing its maximum civil penalty amount from $16,000 to $40,000 per violation under COPPA.
Had Dinesh turned to…
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