Friday, April 17, 2009

Round Table Discussion

Last night, I had the opportunity to partake in a round table discussion about various social, ethical, and legal issues related to technology. I found this discussion to be very proactive and I was pleased to discover that the majority of the participants are genuinely concerned about protecting children from online predators. In addition, cyberbullying was a main topic of concern. I am addressing this topic on my blog because I believe that with parental controls, cyberbullying will be reduced. A main argument addressed was that parents are not aware of inappropriate internet usage because they are not monitoring the usage or they are unaware of how to monitor it.

Related articles/websites:

Stop CyberBullying!

What you need to know and tips

How to fight the new bullies!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Attention Parents

This site puts the COPPA law in laymen terms and also has great tips for parents!

Check it out!
Tips for Parents

Not everyone is happy with COPPA!

COPPA mandates that Operators gain parental consent when a child under the age of thirteen is required to provide personal information. However, one of the problems arising has to do with funding. I came across an interesting article from WIRED magazine (click on the post topic) about a Thomas the Engine website that had to inform their large adolescent audience that they had to suspend e-mailing news because of the new law. The main reason for the suspension was due to additional and expensive funding. In addition, Operators say that it is too much of a hassle to get parental consent for each child. Creators of the law argue that protecting the child's information weighs more heavily and that Operators should be able to comply with the law by making minor adjustments.

On a side note: Operators who specifically cater to kids will get charged $11,000 per kid, if they violate COPPA.

Check out this related article:
Wired Magazine

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Children's Online Privacy Protection (COPPA)

COPPA was passed into law in 1998. The primary goal of COPPA is to allow parents of children under the age of 13 to control what personal information can be collected online of their child and how the information is to be used. In order for this to happen, Operators (commercial websites and online services) covered under COPPA must agree to six guidelines. These guidelines basically state that the Operators will post a privacy policy on their website, contact parents when asking for personal information, allow parents access to the child's information, and allow parents the right to stop the collection of the child's information.


Federal Trade Commission