Did you know a revised COPPA [US] took effect in 2013?
I ran into this information while researching a customer request. Not only does COPPA now only target sites "directed at children" but using an age gate to prevent access by folks under 13 is expressly not in compliance with the rule.
The amended Rule sets out a number of factors for determining whether a website or online service is directed to children. These include subject matter of the site or service, its visual content, the use of animated characters or child-oriented activities and incentives, music or other audio content, age of models, presence of child celebrities or celebrities who appeal to children, language or other characteristics of the website or online service, or whether advertising promoting or appearing on the website or online service is directed to children. The Rule also states that the Commission will consider competent and reliable empirical evidence regarding audience composition, as well as evidence regarding the intended audience of the site or service.
And on age screening in general on sites that target children:
Because of its very nature, in most instances, a website or online service (such as an app) directed to children must treat all visitors as children and provide COPPA’s protections to every such visitor. This means that for the most part, a website or online service directed to children may not screen users for age.
So the takeaway is: If you're running a kid's website, you need to treat every user as a COPPA user. If you're not, there's nothing extra you need to do. An age gate step misses the point on both sets of guidance.