HOL is a strictly non-commercial, privately funded, non-profit organization. Any form of commercial advertising is not allowed on HOL. Being a member is and will always be free of any charges. HOL is an approved 'All Ages Site' by the ICRA (Internet Content Rating Association).
COPPA, the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act, applies to the online collection of personal information from children under 13. The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act and Rule apply to individually identifiable information about a child that is collected online, such as full name, home address, email address, telephone number or any other information that would allow someone to identify or contact the child.
HOL does not collect or store any individually identifiable information about its members. New members need to sign up with a made-up HOL Identity and a valid email address, which is needed for communication within the community. Email addresses are tied to HOL identities only! Every member, no matter of age, is encouraged to use a web based email address for HOL, not their ISP one. Posting or revealing own or others' private information on any official HOL communication area is strictly forbidden and can immediately lead to expulsion (see 7.1).
However, HOL requires all new members under 13 to seek consent of their parents before joining HOL. This is not because HOL collects private information, but because HOL believes that parents should know and approve what their children age 12 or less are doing online.