coppaNOW is a much needed resource for parents who want the latest news and best practices regarding online privacy protection for their children, without having to comb through Government websites.
Not many parents that we talk to have heard of, let alone given a lot of thought to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). We think that this is likely to change over time, and probably soon. COPPA was put into law in 1998, and spells out what website operators must do in order to collect personally identifying information from users under the age of 13, and what responsibilities website operators have to protect children’s privacy and safety online.
Since getting parental consent for users under 13 is practically impossible, COPPA is the reason that most social media sites state in their terms of service that users must be at least 13 years of age. For those who follow the topic, it is well known that young users can currently lie about their age with impunity and be allowed to join a site. And the sites are happy to have them.
As a parent, you are probably more concerned with your son or daughter’s online safety that protecting him or her from advertisers, but both are worthy goals.
Because COPPA is so easy to circumvent for pre teens, it has been the subject of much debate and controversy. For parents hoping to keep up to speed with COPPA developments, there is a new website that one can turn to. coppaNOW was launched last month by Greg Kudasz, a North Carolina native, Microsoft veteran and long time child advocate. According to the site:
This site aims to be a repository of information and resources about the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998. The site includes a News section which is divided in to content including original material written here, external articles and links gleaned from different places including Google News, Twitter feeds and press releases and blogs from the FTC.
In what we take as a sign that COPPA’s prominence is on the rise, sites that had previously ignored COPPA requirements, such as Ask.fm, have recently come under more scrutiny by lawmakers and the public. Check out coppaNOW for the latest developments.
Contact ThirdParent any time for help and resources for monitoring teen internet activity.