Online Privacy for Kids: FTC Requests Comments

FCC, another agency, provides this publication on net safety, and privacy. (Free)

Parents of digital kids will want to keep abreast of proposed Federal Trade Commission (FTC) revisions to online privacy regulations that, if implemented, would increase and expand online privacy protections for children. The changes will alter the  Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).

A September 16, 2011 press release from the FTC announces the proposed regulation changes and seeks comments from the public. The increasing use of mobile devices by children is one reason the agency believes that changes are necessary, and the expanded regulations would add locational data as additional personal information that needs to be protected.

Three Proposed Changes

1. Notify parents in advance if their children’s personal information is collected and may be used or sold.

2. Encourage the development of better parental consent methods, using any  developing technology that might improve how parents are contacted and ask for consent. Stop using the e-mail-confirmation method. Continue reading

FTC Net Cetera and OnGuard OnLine Family Website – Bookmark It!

Visit OnGuard Online

Are  you searching for reliable tutorials to help you learn more about managing digital-age parenting topics? Check out the short book Net Cetera: Chatting With Kids About Being Online. Simple, straightforward, and easy to read, this publication covers most of the relevant digital topics, and its comprehensive table of contents is a ready-to-use outline that can help to guide virtual world family conversations. Net Cetera, published by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), is available as a PDF download or as a printed booklet. Moreover, the booklet can be ordered in quantity for a PTA, book club, church activity or other parent group.

The FTC website, OnGuard Online, which features Net Cetera, is also a repository of information that can help parents to address concerns with their digital children. Each subject is covered with three sections, starting with a review of the “Quick Facts.” A more detailed explanation follows with a section of links that connect to additional online resources.

Topics include:

  • Kids Privacy
  • Computer Disposal
  • Identity Theft
  • Scams
  • Social Networking

Visit OnGuard Online

The OnGuard Online site also included videos, PowerPoint presentations, games, and a host of games that are designed a bit like quizzes. Users can also sign up for a daily cyber tip e-mail.

This site, and especially the Net Cetera booklet, is useful for everyone in a family, including grandparents or other seniors.  The type can be adjusted so that it is larger, and many of the topics covered provide information that is critical for aging family members to understand, and perhaps grandchildren can help do some of the teaching.

Getting Serious About Online Privacy

Your family’s privacy is significantly diminished by online activities, and a new government report is critical of the situation.

Yesterday’s New York Times (December 1, 2010) featured an article, F.T.C. Backs Plan to Honor Privacy of Online Users, reporting on recommendations from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) about collecting online information without permission. The article, written by reporters Edward Wyatt and Tanzina Vega, describes the FTC report Protecting Privacy in a Time of Rapid Change (122 pages of interesting reading) in some detail, but the gist of the recommendations, according to the Times writers, is “that companies adopt simpler, more transparent, and streamlined ways of presenting consumers with their options…” Take time to read the entire piece.

A few interesting points from FTC the report include: Continue reading