2010 Children's Online Privacy Protection Act Rule Review
One issue that concerns me is media outlets printing personal information about children in the local newspaper and then publishing that information on the Internet. Children are frequently involved in community events - youth football, boy scouts, etc. and their names and images are collected and published in the home town paper. Parents often have no control over the process. Sometimes, they have no knowledge that photos and names have been submitted. In a local newspaper, this is generally harmless but when the newspaper also publishes that information on their website, this information goes out to the world, far beyond the local community and is accessible for long periods of time. COPPA regulations that allow parents to request information be retracted from a website should extend to media sites (such as newspapers), govt. sites (such as 4-H agencies), and organizations (such as Girl Scouts). The difficulty of the matter is that these agencies collect information from children and do not tell parents the information will end up on the Internet. Very often it does (in the form of a newsletter, meeting mintues, schedules, fair entries, sporting results, etc.). Website owners who put images and names of children on their webpage should, by law, be required to get permission (sec. 312.5?) or be required to remove that information when requested by a parent. In my opinion, this type of information "collection" and distribution is far more serious than marketers collecting random bits of information on future consumers. COPPA needs to address the real issues of privacy violation on the Internet. These are on the "front end" of websites, not the back. Also, as others have said, serious consideration needs to be given to social media sites and how they are used in schools and by people under 18.