Here is the latest from Common Sense Media:
Stop Companies from Tracking Your Kids Online Don't let
companies track kids without your permission. Join thousands of
other parents who want to guard kids' privacy from invasive online
tracking. by Caroline Knorr | Oct. 22,
2012 | Family
What is COPPA?
COPPA -- the Children's Online Privacy and Protection Act --
might not be as exciting asFrankenweenie (nor
as delicious as cured ham!). But it's one of the most important
consumer protections ever passed for kids in the Internet age. The
law gives parents the right to decide whether companies can collect
their kids' information -- and right now it's facing a crucial
test. The Federal Trade Commission is trying to upgrade COPPA to
keep pace with new technology like third-party advertising
networks, online data tracking, and location services. The FTC
needs to hear from parents how important it is
for us to remain the gatekeepers of our kids' information.
In a world where kids' lives are increasingly lived online --
where they play games, interact with friends, buy products, and
search for information -- their digital interactions represent
millions (maybe billions) of dollars for online companies. COPPA is
the one thing standing in the way of companies getting their hands
on your kids' data -- and the changes made to the law now will
affect your kids' personal information forever.
Why COPPA Needs an Upgrade
If you've ever had to give your email address when your kid
wanted to register for a website, that's COPPA in action. The law
mandates that companies get parents' permission before they collect
personal information on kids under 13. But COPPA, passed in 1998,
was conceived in a pre-Facebook, pre-YouTube, pre-app,
pre-geolocation world. In today's information economy, it's data --
what you knowingly give companies when you sign up for a service,
as well as the digital footprints you leave behind as you click
around the Web -- that companies want to buy and sell.
Keep Parents in Charge
You can bet that Internet companies are fighting the proposed
COPPA changes tooth and nail. In fact,
Facebook wrote a 20-page-page appeal to the FTC defending its
"Like" button against COPPA regulations. No one is saying that
companies don't have a right to innovate and make money online. The
FTC's recommended rules will simply help ensure that parents have
better information and tools, and that parents -- not ad networks
and data brokers -- get to decide when their children's personal
information can -- and can't -- be collected, shared, and sold.
Sign! Sign Now!
Online companies working with parents is an essential component
of building consumer trust, and building innovations that work --
for kids and families and for online and mobile companies and
If you believe that, too, then it's time to make sure your voice
Sign the petition to protect your right to decide how your
kids' information is shared online. And at the risk of coming off
like a policy wonk (like me), send it to your friends, and help
them stay in charge of their kids' information.
Access to all of this great technology shouldn't come at kids'