FTC proposes stricter Net access rules for children under 13

http://j.mp/rgPhnB (Wired)

"The Federal Trade Commission proposed Thursday to revamp its online
child privacy rules to reflect the ubiquity of smartphones and
geolocation services. The proposed updates (.pdf) to the Children's
Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 were welcomed by many in the
privacy community. They see the new proposal as a means to combat
behavioral advertising targeting America's youth. By contrast,
Facebook, Microsoft, the Entertainment Software Association, the Toy
Industry Association and others are arguing for self-regulation when
it comes to targeted, online behavioral advertising."

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At least the FTC is explicitly not proposing that Congress require sites
that don't cater to children to collect age-related identity information.
On the other hand, some of the verification techniques being proposed
seem intrusive, others seem -- well -- rather weird. In particular,
finding someone to be "your parent" for a video-conference check probably
won't be a stretch for the average intelligent kid:

http://j.mp/oBtUFk ("Yep! That's my Bobby!" [Picasa])

This is not to suggest that I'm unsympathetic to concerns of parents
and their children's Internet use. But I discern some potential
"slippery slopes" in various of these proposals, of significant
concern relating ultimately to adults' use of the Net, and I believe
that some of these proposals will be mainly effective at scoring
political points.

-- Lauren --
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