16 CFR Part 312, Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule, Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, Project No. P104503 #561789-00020 

Submission Number:
561789-00020 
Commenter:
Daniel  Grounard
Organization:
Nottoway County Public Schools
State:
Virginia
Initiative Name:
16 CFR Part 312, Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule, Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, Project No. P104503

Dear Mr. Leibowitz I am writing this letter in support of Mr. Ricky Rash's reply regarding the FTC's Children Online Privacy Protection Act. In my opinion, it is obvious that changes need to be made to protect minors and allow parents more access to regulate their child's online activity. On January 20th, 2011, Ricky Rash's son committed took his life. This horrible tragedy brought our community to its knees and we are just starting to recover. However, the Rash family continues to struggle with this terrible tragedy each and everyday. It is my hope that something positive can come out of this that would protect other children across this country. Mr. Rash lays out an impressive argument about making changes that give parents the ability to protect their children from this kind of needless tragedy. Mr. Rash's solutions are well thought and make perfect sense. I highlighted three that stand out although all were correct. First, raise the age limit to reflect what is currently deemed minor status--18 years of age. This is an important step in protecting our children from not only the possibility of taking their own life but allowing them access to protect children from online predators and other harmful sites. Second, define the privacy of a minor with regards to parent's responsibility. Ultimately, the parent should have unrestricted access to their child's computer use information. This can be done by requiring a family tree style application when parent(s) have an account and the two accounts can be linked. Parents can monitor online accounts and chat room usage. We are too quick in treating our young people like adults when it comes to computer usage. There needs to be a realization that some sites are harmful and chat rooms can create situations that hurt children. Third, clearly define what law enforcement needs in situations when thee is allegation or suspicion of abuse of any kind involving a minor. This is clearly common sense when it comes to the welfare of a minor. I would go so far to say that a minor should have their rights dictated by the parent when it comes to web access. Schools, Doctors and Banks have restrictions with what can and cannot be released. Social media must have restrictions to avoid any other children being hurt. It is time for COPPA to stop dragging their feet on this issue and do what is right.