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SIGN THE PETITION: Parents, not companies, should make privacy decisions for their kids
Tuesday, October 02, 2012
The Center for Digital Democracy and Common Sense Media have launched an online campaign to urge the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to make parents or caregivers of children in charge of crucial privacy decisions, including whether marketers can collect their personal information or not.
The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), which was enacted into law in 1998, requires a commercial website, before it can collect any personal information from a child under 13, to first obtain verifiable parental consent. But the Internet has changed since that law went into effect. Children now use mobile phones, tablets, gaming devices, and social networks to access the Internet. New technology, in turn, now makes invasive “behavioral” tracking of a young person possible--including techniques that invisibly leave “cookies” and other identifiers so they can be targeted wherever they go.
Under new rules to update COPPA, there's a chance to change this. The FTC can give parents new ways to control how their children’s information can be collected and used, whether they are on a mobile phone, playing an online game, using social media, or simply browsing the Web. But powerful industry lobbyists from the data collection industry are opposed to the FTC’s proposed new policies. Their opposition stands to weaken COPPA and the ability of parents to use all the tools available to protect their children’s personal data when they are online.
The FTC is expected to vote on its COPPA proposal before Thanksgiving. Please consider signing the petition to send the commission a strong message declaring that we want kids’ privacy protected and parents empowered to ensure those protections.
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