Revised Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule Now In Effect

July 3rd, 2013

The Federal Trade Commission’s revised Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) Rule took effect on July 1st. COPPA gives parents greater control over the online collection of their children’s personal information. The revised COPPA rule is the result of more than two years of review by the agency to modernize the rule.

The revised COPPA rule addresses new ways in which children use and access the Internet, including the use of mobile devices and social networking. The modified COPPA rule, approved by the Commission in December 2012, broadens the definition of children’s personal information to include persistent identifiers such as cookies that track a child’s activity online, as well as geolocation information, photos, videos, and audio recordings.

COPPA was mandated when Congress passed the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998. COPPA requires that operators of websites or online services that are either directed to children under 13 or have actual knowledge that they are collecting personal information from children under 13 give notice to parents and get their verifiable consent before collecting, using, or disclosing such personal information, and keep secure the information they collect from children.

The FTC has also continued five “safe harbor” programs, whose guidelines now reflect the updated rule. Under COPPA, “safe harbor” status permits certain organizations to create comprehensive self-compliance programs for their members. Companies that participate in a COPPA safe harbor program are generally subject to the review and disciplinary procedures provided in the safe harbor’s guidelines in lieu of formal FTC investigation and law enforcement. COPPA safe harbor programs are offered by Aristotle International, Inc., the Children’s Advertising Review Unit of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, ESRB Privacy Online, PRIVO and TRUSTe.

The FTC has updated a guide for parents, “Protecting Your Child’s Privacy Online,” that explains what COPPA is, how it works and what parents can do to help protect their children’s privacy online.

Parents Should Read This: Data About What Teens Do Online

May 22nd, 2013

Pew Research just released a report called “Teens, Social Media, and Privacy.” The report provides a bunch of data about what teens do online and how they view their personal privacy while sharing. The report also delves into social sharing apps like Twitter, SnapChat and Instagram.

Why should you care? As a parent it’s really important to get a broader view of how how other teens conduct themselves online. It also helps to understand the context in which teens uses these technologies. While many adults and even many press accounts describe SnapChat as a saucy photo sharing app teens use it in ways that may surprise you. One teen girl described her use of SnapChat in Pew’s focus groups in this way: “Well, because Facebook, everyone sees what I’m doing. But Snapchat is just to one person, unless they’re a jerk and they screenshot it and post it on Facebook. But mostly it’s just the person that you’re sending it to, so it’s like a conversation.”

Also, the teens comment about their parents joining Facebook: “It sucks… Because then they [my parents] start asking me questions like why are you doing this, why are you doing that. It’s like, it’s my Facebook. If I don’t get privacy at home, at least, I think, I should get privacy on a social network.”

So, take a deep breath, relax and read Pew’s data. It’s a brave new world, but you may find that it’s not a scary as you thought.

Parents’ Guides to Instagram and Snapchat

May 21st, 2013

Anne Collier and Larry Magid released two new Parents’ Guides yesterday — one to Instagram and one to Snapchat. Kids have started using these social photo apps to communicate with one another. If you don’t think your child is using his/her smartphone to share via Instragram and/or Snapchat you’re probably wrong. But it doesn’t mean you need to freak out. ConnectSafely’s guides to these new tools will help you get a better handle on your kids’ social photo sharing.

The “guides demystify popular photo-sharing apps and walk kids and parents through safety and privacy features.” The guides also answer “the top five questions parents have about these photo-sharing apps so popular with kids including:

* Why kids love these apps
* What the risks of each app are
* How to help kids stay safe using the apps
* How to report abuse and block problem users
* How to use privacy settings

ConnectSafely also has guides to using Facebook and Google+.

Instagram Name Tagging: Larry Magid on What Parents Need To Know

May 2nd, 2013

If you don’t already know Instagram is used but a lot of kids and teens to communicate with one another. The picture sharing app was bought recently by Facebook. Instagram has added a new feature that allows users to “add” the names of people in their photos to their posts. There are both public and private settings and parents and teens alike should know the difference. Larry Magid breaks it down in this post.

Kids’ Revised Online Privacy Explained by FTC

April 26th, 2013

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) revised it’s online kids privacy rule recently. The new rules go into effect this summer. Parents of children under 13 years old probably won’t notice many changes to how their kids interact with their web sites. But our friend Larry Magid explains the changes in this Forbes post.

NFN on Snapchat: Privacy as perishable as the photos

April 18th, 2013

Our friend Anne Collier at NetFamilyNews wrote a great piece about the fun app SnapChat, but also warns about a false sense of security. See post at Snapchat: Privacy as perishable as the photos.

Teen Safer Online Challenge, Creative Ideas Win Prizes

March 26th, 2013

It’s not too late to create a submission for the Safer Online Teen Challenge. Our friends at Microsoft are encouraging teens to unleash their creativity and help educate folks to Stay Safer Online. The contest is open to teens 13 to 18 and runs until April 12, 2013. Winners can win prizes like a tablet or Xbox. Learn more here.

Student and school videos on “the good side of the Internet” could win $10K each

March 1st, 2013

GetNetWise founding contributor, Larry Magid, just announced a competition called “What’s Your Story” that asks kids to create videos about what the “Good side of the Internet looks like.” There are actually cash prizes for young filmmakers sponsored by Trend Micro. If you have an aspiring filmmaker in your house click here for more information.

House Passes Resolution to Challenge America’s Youth To Code in Nationwide STEM Competition

March 1st, 2013

Internet Education Foundation Applauds the Passage of House Resolution 77 Paving The Way for Annual Congressional App Challenge

WASHINGTON, DC – The Internet Education Foundation commends the House for passing the “Academic Competition Resolution of 2013.” The Resolution creates an annual academic competition in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) and paves the way for the first-ever “app” competition fostered by Congress. IEF applauds Rep. Candice Miller and Rep. Robert Brady for sponsoring this important resolution and Rep. Cantor and Rep. Pelosi for their leadership and support.

Over the past year IEF staff have worked tirelessly with the co-chairs of the Congressional Internet Caucus, Rep. Bob Goodlatte and Rep. Anna G. Eshoo, to urge the creation of a Congressional App Challenge. Both co-chairs rose in support of the Congressional App Challenge as a step in the right direction to the future of jobs in America and its competitiveness globally. Our efforts were aided by a steering committee of app competition experts representing Google, Blackberry, AT&T, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) and Motorola Mobility.

“One after another Members from both sides of the aisle rose in support of the STEM education Resolution during a break in the sequester debate,” said IEF president Jerry Berman. He added, “I was heartened to see a group of technology leaders in Congress act to invest in the future of American jobs and of the economy: young STEM-educated constituents.”

IEF coordinates the work of the Congressional Internet Caucus Advisory Committee, which supports the goals of the Congressional Internet Caucus. The ICAC does not support or oppose any policy agenda; however, it shares the concern of most Americans that our students are falling behind in many areas of STEM education. We look forward to working with Congress and the Committee on House Administration to support this competition going forward. During his floor statements, Internet Caucus co-chair Goodlatte said, “This competition will motivate our young people to further pursue programming and other technology related educational opportunities. It will also enable them to showcase their programming skills on a national stage while at the same time promoting the value of STEM education and careers.”

Co-chair Eshoo said, “Building on the success of the Congressional Arts Competition, which for more than 30 years has recognized and encouraged artistic talent among our nation’s youth, an apps competition will foster interest in STEM education, which is just what our country needs to prepare for the future.”

The Internet Education Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to educating the public and policymakers about the potential of a decentralized global Internet to promote communications, commerce and democracy. Its board members ensure the balanced of the organization’s efforts and consist of public interest groups, corporations, and associations representative of the diversity of the Internet community.

Leonard Hyman
(202) 638-4370 x129

Parental Controls for the Kids’ Tech This Holiday

December 27th, 2012

More and more technology is the go to gift from parents and from Santa around the holidays. Once the boxes are unboxed make sure to take a few moments setting up parental controls on those game consoles, iPads, and phones this year. The USA Today’s blog has some great advice for parents in a blog post titled “Setting up your child’s new tech gifts“. Check it out.

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