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Re: [WWWEDU] Kidz Privacy from United States. Federal Trade Commission

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  • Nancy Willard
    PLEASE PAY ATTENTION TO THE FOLLOWING TEXT FROM THE MESSAGE DAVID HAS POSTED. on 12/6/03 10:27 AM, David P. Dillard at jwne@ASTRO.OCIS.TEMPLE.EDU wrote:
    Message 1 of 5 , Dec 8, 2003
      PLEASE PAY ATTENTION TO THE FOLLOWING TEXT FROM THE MESSAGE DAVID HAS
      POSTED.

      on 12/6/03 10:27 AM, David P. Dillard at jwne@... wrote:

      <snip>

      > For Teachers
      > <http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/edcams/kidzprivacy/teachers.htm>
      >
      > Whether playing, shopping, studying or just surfing, today's kids are
      > taking advantage of all that the web has to offer. But when it comes to
      > their personal information, who's in charge? The Children's Online Privacy
      > Protection Act, enforced by the Federal Trade Commission, requires
      > commercial website operators to get parental consent before collecting any
      > personal information from kids under 13. COPPA allows teachers to act on
      > behalf of a parent during school activities online, but does not require
      > them to do so. That is, the law does not require teachers to make
      > decisions about the collection of their students' personal information.
      > Check to see whether your school district has a policy about disclosing
      > student information.

      When the FTC first posted the Kidz Privacy site it included language for
      teachers that made NO mention of the importance of checking to see whether
      the district had a policy with respect to student privacy. Fortunately, I
      had good connections with the FTC staff and actually met with them in DC to
      address what was, at that time, terrible guidance from the perspective of
      student privacy protection. (This was during the time that I was working to
      address the concerns related to Zapme -- the company that was providing free
      computers to schools in exchange for the ability to profile and target kids
      with ever-present advertising.)

      I was able to convince the FTC of the importance of referencing the
      possibility of district policies that teachers should check and helped to
      rewrite what ended up as the text above.

      So the very pertinent question is: Does your district have a policy related
      to the ability of teachers to grant permission for elementary students to
      provide personal information on commercial web sites???

      Because if you don't, there are likely commercial sites that are telling
      teachers that this is perfectly OK. As the parent of 2 elementary school
      students I can tell you that you would not want to have to deal with MY
      reaction if a teacher gave permission for my child to provide personal
      information on a commercial web site.

      If you want more information on privacy concerns that I really think ought
      to be addressed in district policy, please consult my new online materials,
      Safe and Responsible Use of the Internet: A Guide for Educations, which is
      at http://csriu.org

      Nancy

      Nancy Willard, M.S., J.D.
      Center for Safe and Responsible Internet Use
      http://csriu.org
    • Art Wolinsky
      ... You don t really need a policy. The law is specific. For children under the age of 13, you need expressed parental consent for students to give personal
      Message 2 of 5 , Dec 9, 2003
        At 12:33 PM 12/8/2003, you wrote:
        >So the very pertinent question is: Does your district have a policy related
        >to the ability of teachers to grant permission for elementary students to
        >provide personal information on commercial web sites???

        You don't really need a policy. The law is specific. For children under
        the age of 13, you need expressed parental consent for students to give
        personal information whether it is from home or in school. The teacher
        CAN'T make that decision.

        >Because if you don't, there are likely commercial sites that are telling
        >teachers that this is perfectly OK.

        Any commercial site that puts that in writing is giving advice that is
        contrary to the law.

        >As the parent of 2 elementary school
        >students I can tell you that you would not want to have to deal with MY
        >reaction if a teacher gave permission for my child to provide personal
        >information on a commercial web site.

        We'll that's definitely one reason to be careful! ;->

        Schools often get blanket consent to give that permission by including a
        paragraph in the AUP that covers granting permission to share personal
        information at sites for educational purposes, but even that doesn't
        CYA. Even if the school has that clause, the teacher still has to be
        cautious, because they can't grant permission unless the site is COPPA
        compliant.

        You would be surprised at how many commercial sites are NOT
        compliant. COPPA is one of those pieces of legislation designed to
        tranquilize the public. Web site owners could be fined up to $10,000 per
        child for collecting information without permission. Do you remember every
        hearing of a web site owner being fined???

        Congress passed it with much fanfare, the public thought they were doing a
        wonderful job, and the law gets ignored by everyone and their cousin,
        because it isn't being enforced. Because it isn't being enforced, I'll give
        you two guesses who's butt gets put on the line. I'll give you a
        hint. It's not Congress. It's not the commercial web sites. It begins
        with t and ends with r.

        Art


        ******************************************************************
        Art Wolinsky - OEO 3DWriting, Inc
        awolinsky@...
        http://www.3dwriting.com
        Technology Director - Online Internet Institute
        http://oii.org
        (609) 698-8223
        ******************************************************************
        I am perfectly capable of learning from my mistakes.
        I will surely learn a great deal today.
        ******************************************************************
      • Nancy Willard
        ... This is incorrect. Under COPPA, teachers can *act in lieu of parents* to give this permission. ... Not only, under COPPA, can sites tell teachers that they
        Message 3 of 5 , Dec 10, 2003
          on 12/9/03 3:47 PM, Art Wolinsky at awolinsky@... wrote:

          > At 12:33 PM 12/8/2003, you wrote:
          >> So the very pertinent question is: Does your district have a policy related
          >> to the ability of teachers to grant permission for elementary students to
          >> provide personal information on commercial web sites???
          >
          > You don't really need a policy. The law is specific. For children under
          > the age of 13, you need expressed parental consent for students to give
          > personal information whether it is from home or in school. The teacher
          > CAN'T make that decision.

          This is incorrect. Under COPPA, teachers can *act in lieu of parents* to
          give this permission.

          >> Because if you don't, there are likely commercial sites that are telling
          >> teachers that this is perfectly OK.
          >
          > Any commercial site that puts that in writing is giving advice that is
          > contrary to the law.
          >
          Not only, under COPPA, can sites tell teachers that they can give permission
          in lieu of parents, they can point teachers to a federal government site
          that says the same thing.

          >> As the parent of 2 elementary school
          >> students I can tell you that you would not want to have to deal with MY
          >> reaction if a teacher gave permission for my child to provide personal
          >> information on a commercial web site.
          >
          > We'll that's definitely one reason to be careful! ;->

          ;-) (However the battle I am addressing locally is a school choice program
          that ahs resulted in socioeconomic stratification, unfair competition, and
          unequal resources.)
          >
          > Schools often get blanket consent to give that permission by including a
          > paragraph in the AUP that covers granting permission to share personal
          > information at sites for educational purposes, but even that doesn't
          > CYA. Even if the school has that clause, the teacher still has to be
          > cautious, because they can't grant permission unless the site is COPPA
          > compliant.
          >
          I am pretty sure (functioning at the limits of my recollection and do not
          have time to go check for sure) COPPA only places restrictions on commercial
          sites, which could include commercial educational sites, but not
          non-commercial sites.

          > You would be surprised at how many commercial sites are NOT
          > compliant. COPPA is one of those pieces of legislation designed to
          > tranquilize the public. Web site owners could be fined up to $10,000 per
          > child for collecting information without permission. Do you remember every
          > hearing of a web site owner being fined???
          >
          > Congress passed it with much fanfare, the public thought they were doing a
          > wonderful job, and the law gets ignored by everyone and their cousin,
          > because it isn't being enforced. Because it isn't being enforced, I'll give
          > you two guesses who's butt gets put on the line. I'll give you a
          > hint. It's not Congress. It's not the commercial web sites. It begins
          > with t and ends with r.

          One of the biggest problems with COPPA is that along around age 10, kids
          figure out that they can avoid all of the parental notification stuff by
          simply lying about their age. I have tested this on a few sites that do not
          allow anyone under 13 to register. Sometimes then have a pull down menu that
          allows children only to pull down the year that would make them old enough
          to be able to register on the site. Other sites will provide a message that
          indicates that you are too young to register. But you can go right back in
          to the site, provide all of the same information, but use a different birth
          date and you are in.

          I agree wholeheartedly with Art. It was very interesting to see a recent
          announcement about Kids Online--AOL's new site for tweens. The news stories
          all discussed the market strength of the tween market. Of course, this is
          marketed to parents as a "safe" environment.

          Bottom line is that districts really ought to have specific policies on when
          how and where it might be appropriate too provide *any* information about a
          child or allow a child to do so on his or her own.

          Nancy

          Nancy Willard, M.S., J.D.
          Center for Safe and Responsible Internet Use
          http://csrui.org
          nwillard@...
        • Art Wolinsky
          ... I was under that impression too, but... http://www.education-world.com/a_tech/tech021.shtml Parental permission is the key to COPPA. According to Dean
          Message 4 of 5 , Dec 11, 2003
            At 12:40 PM 12/10/2003, you wrote:
            > > You don't really need a policy. The law is specific. For children under
            > > the age of 13, you need expressed parental consent for students to give
            > > personal information whether it is from home or in school. The teacher
            > > CAN'T make that decision.
            >
            >This is incorrect. Under COPPA, teachers can *act in lieu of parents* to
            >give this permission.

            I was under that impression too, but...
            http://www.education-world.com/a_tech/tech021.shtml
            "Parental permission is the key to COPPA. According to Dean Forbes, an
            attorney for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which is responsible for
            enforcing COPPA,..."

            "What are the schools' responsibilities concerning COPPA? Students younger
            than 13 must have verifiable parental consent to provide personal
            information to Web sites -- whether they provide that information from home
            or from school. According to Forbes, however, schools can obtain parental
            consent for all students and then pass on that consent by proxy to Web site
            operators."


            >I am pretty sure (functioning at the limits of my recollection and do not
            >have time to go check for sure) COPPA only places restrictions on commercial
            >sites, which could include commercial educational sites, but not
            >non-commercial sites.

            That is correct. Non-profit and school sites are exempt.

            >One of the biggest problems with COPPA is that along around age 10, kids
            >figure out that they can avoid all of the parental notification stuff by
            >simply lying about their age.

            The point was clearly made by Parry Aftab and others at the hearings before
            the law was passed. A lot of good it did.

            Art

            ******************************************************************
            Art Wolinsky - OEO 3DWriting, Inc
            awolinsky@...
            http://www.3dwriting.com
            Technology Director - Online Internet Institute
            http://oii.org
            (609) 698-8223
            ******************************************************************
            I am perfectly capable of learning from my mistakes.
            I will surely learn a great deal today.
            ******************************************************************
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