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Stricter COPPA Laws Coming In July

Soulskill posted 1 year,28 days | from the won't-somebody-please-think-of-the-children dept.

Privacy 134

Velcroman1 writes "The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) was enacted in 1998. In 2011, the FTC beefed up the measure, preventing sites from collecting personal information from kids such as name, location and date of birth without a parent's consent. This July, new amendments for kids under 13 will go into effect, approved by the FTC in December. The rules are targeted at sites that market specifically to kids. However, even a site like Facebook could be fined for allowing minors to post self-portraits, audio recordings of their voice, and images with geo-location data. There are also new restrictions on tracking data, with cookies or a unique identifier that follow registrants from one site to another."

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134 comments

How about... (5, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | 1 year,28 days | (#43219441)

How about we stop it with the nanny-state crap and FUD about online and have parents -gasp- parent? You know, like tell you kids basic stuff like don't give out addresses online, don't go meet people online, etc. This will be a never ending battle, anytime a kid does something stupid and gets hurt because of it people will petition the government to "do something" and slowly the internet gets regulated to death.

Seriously, how hard is it to tell your kid don't tell someone where you are and don't meet them?

Re:How about... (2)

chromaexcursion (2047080) | 1 year,28 days | (#43219521)

Sadly, too many parents can't seem to teach their kids this. Though some of it may have to do with their kids won't listen to them by the time they are 8. Parenting isn't easy, but getting the state to fill in causes other problems.

Re:How about... (5, Insightful)

letherial (1302031) | 1 year,28 days | (#43220127)

Anyone who thinks that parenting is easy and kids will just do what they are told are either A. not a parent, or B. a deadbeat parent.

I agree with you though, when the state gets involved with parenting it causes a whole new level of problems

Re:How about... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43221717)

I agree it's the parents job to determine what is appropriate for their children. It would be nice if the government would mandate that all current research on children, good, bad, or otherwise to be made easily and freely accessible to parents. Rather than throwing out global mandates, especially since the government has shown an aptitude for getting it wrong so many times in the past.

It would be nice to see the real data rather than have others ideals, religion, beliefs, and understandings thrust upon us. This would include medicine, parenting techniques, and psychology. However, I do support government required controls that force companies to enforce parent choice. (Please note that I said parent choice, not government forced parent choice, or government choice.)

Re:How about... (4, Insightful)

Penguinisto (415985) | 1 year,28 days | (#43220787)

I may get modded into oblivion for this, but... society-wise, maybe it's better for the occasional Darwin moment to happen, even if it involves a kid.

Seriously - when you have government becoming more and more imposing on societal rights and freedoms "for the children", maybe it's time to stop and let parents find out (even if, sadly, it's the hard way) that maybe they should stop treating the Internet like a toy. Long ago, I was asked to teach my local church group about the Internet. The analogy I drew worked pretty well in my own estimation:

The Internet is like New York City. It's fun, exciting, you can buy stuff there, and it can educate as well as entertain. However! Just like the Big Apple, you do not let your kid wander around the place alone.

Thing is, no parent would be stupid enough to let their under-aged kid wander around Times Square at night. So why do they let their kids play unfettered on the Internet? Maybe it's because the dangers of the big city are obvious and apparent, whereas they aren't online? Well, if enough news stories come out about kids harmed by doing something dumb online, and happens often enough, maybe the parents will get the hint? As shitty as it is to say this, maybe we need enough of this to happen before the clue sinks in?

Re:How about... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43221065)

So why do they let their kids play unfettered on the Internet?

If my parents restricted my access, I wouldn't have been able to learn half the things I did. I wasn't an imbecile, so I didn't need someone watching me over my shoulder all the time, and I believe plenty of other children don't either, provided the idiots know they shouldn't give their information away online like I did (and without anyone having told me, because it's just so damn obvious).

Re:How about... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43219537)

It'll never happen. Much like firearm legislation, the ultimate goal isn't the laws that they're showing you... today. They'll chisel away until what is absurd today looks like the logical conclusion tomorrow.

Re:How about... (2)

Xenkar (580240) | 1 year,28 days | (#43219545)

Apparently it isn't harder than telling your congressmen that there is a think of the children problem to be solved. It is an easy target with which they can act like they are doing something while not actually doing anything productive.

If we took just a portion of the money spent on feel good, do nothing "think of the children" initiatives, we could probably have a nationwide roll out of gigabit fibre. Will my proposal do anything for the children? Quite possibly since there is that digital divide where some children are stuck on horrible dialup connections while others have cable or DSL, but I don't really care about that. It'll allow us to have online delivery of video games and other media in a reasonable time frame. It'll probably do wonders for our economy.

Unfortunately it isn't feel good, do nothing legislation so such an initiative will not succeed.

Re:How about... (2)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | 1 year,28 days | (#43219547)

Tell me this: how, as a parent, are you going to stop Facebook to stop tracking your child on EVERY internet page that has a "like" button?

There is no way for a site to know person X is a child or not... any way you did that would constitute tracking. So... the ONLY way to do it is to stop companies from tracking without your explicit consent.

Then parent your child all you want. Until then though, it is mostly pointless to worry about whether they are posting pictures of themselves on Facebook. I mean sure, catch the criminals who want to do weird things with children, but jail the CEOs of corporations that track them, too.

Re:How about... (2, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | 1 year,28 days | (#43219625)

Why would I care if Facebook is tracking on every internet page? What does Facebook do with that information? Do they sell it to "Rapists-R-Us"? Or do they instead sell it to marketers who's job it is to make better products. What a terrible tragedy it is that people want to sell me things that I think I'd like! What a terrible tragedy that marketers can look and see that I like band X and live in general location Y and schedule a tour there if they think there's enough interest.

-shrug- if you don't like tracking, block the cookies. If you don't like Facebook don't have a Facebook account. If you don't like ads use adblock.

Myself, I really couldn't care less.

Re:How about... (1)

penix1 (722987) | 1 year,28 days | (#43219775)

Why Facebook was thrown into the mix I really have no idea because it is against their registration policy for anyone under 13 to have an account on there. Not that that stops those kids but it does give Facebook a bit of protection.

Look, you have these laws because in their absence businesses go hog wild and target them extremely hard. Ever watch children's TV advertising? So in a sense they are selling it to "Rapists-R-Us" when they sell the kids data to marketers.

That's funny... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43220483)

This law is actually the reason why Facebook doesn't allow anyone under 13 to create an account. That way they don't have to fool with the incredible nonsense of getting a parent's permission for every little thing the kids want to do online.

That's all that laws like this accomplish. Either kids suddenly can't do anything on the internet, or they do it anyway, and companies get a free pass because the kids broke the rules when they created an account, and so apparently the law no longer applies in that case.

Re:That's funny... (1)

aztracker1 (702135) | 1 year,28 days | (#43220653)

XBox live was the same way.. I just had my step-son (wife at the time agreed) add 10 years to his age, so his "Date of Birth" would be easier for him to remember.

Re:How about... (1)

letherial (1302031) | 1 year,28 days | (#43220217)

"Taxation is legalized theft, no more, no less."

even though this is way off topic, i must wonder...how would you run a government without taxation?

Re:How about... (1)

Intropy (2009018) | 1 year,28 days | (#43220285)

Usage fees, maybe. But GP isn't necessarily saying you should run a government without taxation. Just be cognizant that taxation takes money directly from the people whenever you consider where you spend and raise your revenue or vote for your representatives. I think it would be pretty good if congress really internalized the fact that the money they're collecting and spending belongs to the people - assuming they care, of course.

Re:How about... (1)

letherial (1302031) | 1 year,28 days | (#43220345)

Usage fees would be a horrible system, creating a more feudalism society then anything else. Congress (or in general, are whole system) doesn't care because they don't answer to the people, they answer to donors, bankers, large corporations and record industry's. Its plutocracy that causes them not care. If they answered to the people, the rich would be paying a whole shit load more, our military would be alot smaller, the iraq war would have accountability, and bankers would of gone to jail.

Saying taxation is equal to theft is like saying copyright is equal to theft, they are only equal in a very small thin fraction but are entirely different ideas for different purposes.

Re:How about... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43221191)

Taxation is when an organization called "government" uses the threat of force to persuade you to give them your money.
Robbery (not "theft", GGGP is imprecise) is when any other entity uses the threat of force to persuade you to give them your money.

I guess that's your "small thin fraction".

they are only equal in a very small thin fraction but are entirely different ideas for different purposes.

Well, taxation is generally done because the government wants to spend money on something (often a completely unobjectionable expenditure) and can't without receiving more. So they take yours.
Robbery is generally done because the robber wants to spend money on something (often a completely unobjectionable expenditure) and can't without receiving more. So they take yours.

Not seeing the difference in purpose. (Don't start with "Robbery is for the robber's good, but taxation is for your own good." Taxation is, even ideally, for the population's net good, not the individual taxpayer's, as the government ideally represents the interest of the whole population, and practically represents some rich/connected/voting subset's interest. Some large hunk of the population is (and should be) taxed in excess of the benefits they receive -- after all, any service which may be parceled out commensurate with payment maybe provided by the private sector.)

Note that ths argument is not necessarily for anarchy, or in other words, taxation being theft or robbery doesn't make taxation always immoral -- to use a ludicrous example, if some mustachio-twirling villain had tied an innocent damsel to the railroad tracks in front of an oncoming train, I would be unquestionably morally justified in stealing an ax from some passerby to chop the rope and free her. It's still theft, but the circumstances make it morally superior to the alternative. Government, IMO, should be pursued on the same moral basis -- fully aware that the taxation which funds all government acts is robbery, and undertaking not all actions which we are sure make the world better, but only actions which are so necessary as to justify the robbery whereby we underwrite them.

Re: Usage Fees (1)

Voyager529 (1363959) | 1 year,28 days | (#43220935)

Usage fees can work in certain areas, but not others. For example, military situations. Yes, I know, war is bad and all that...but if you find yourself stuck in one, does one pay a "usage fee" to the military? Does one only continue to fight as long as enough people agree to "use" it? Do soldiers only protect citizens who have paid the usage fee?

Do police require payment for each time they arrest someone for a crime? Can someone opt to not "use" the services of the officer and avoid a ticket?

Do firemen only fight fires of people who have paid usage fees? If someone doesn't pay the fee beforehand, how can they after their house has burned down?

The number of usage fees tied to a gallon of gasoline is astounding. You've got the EPA guys, the financial auditor guys, and the guys from the Bureau of weights and measures.

"Pay for what you use" works well in theory, In practice to to has its shortcomings.

Re: Usage Fees (1)

deimtee (762122) | 1 year,28 days | (#43221785)

Do firemen only fight fires of people who have paid usage fees? If someone doesn't pay the fee beforehand, how can they after their house has burned down?

There was a case of that in the news not that long ago. http://www.nbcnews.com/id/39516346/ns/us_news-life/ [nbcnews.com]
Someone who hadn't paid the fire services levy had their house catch fire.
Firemen turned up and made sure that the house next door (who had paid) didn't catch, while they watched it burn to the ground.
There were plenty of officials defending it, so I guess it is still official policy

Re: Usage Fees (2)

Kilo Kilo (2837521) | 1 year,28 days | (#43222193)

firefighter here. There are different ways of funding a fire dept and in many ways it operates differently from other govt services, particularly in volunteer depts.
One way is to have the town pay for it, with money collected through taxes.
Another is to have the fire district (a taxing organization independent of town govt) collect their own taxes.
However, if there is not enough tax revenue to support a fire dept, then some small towns simply don't. What usually happens then, is that the fire dept funds itself through service fees or donations. In the case in the link the yearly fee was only $75, but because it wasn't mandatory, the homeowner didn't pay it.

Re:How about... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43220459)

You sound young.

The youth of today have no idea what's down the road they are traveling. They post their entire life on the Internet. The accept that the government, insurance agencies, advertisers, hell, anyone, does and should know every intimate detail of their lives and it's no big deal. Nope, that will never come back and bite you.

Re:How about... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43220605)

How the hell did this strawman get modded as "insightful" unless the writer is a PR sock account?

Very, VERY rarely does money spent on advertising go back into the product. The whole advertising process is self-fulfilling; more money from advertising goes into more advertising to make more money.

Unless you consider a label and logo change as "improving the product".

Ever wonder why most microwaves last 6 months these days? It's because in the third world countries in which they are made, they are stripped of working parts until they are at bare minimum functionality at a suitable cost:profit ratio. It's not for the consumers benefit in the slightest.

Re:How about... (1)

bertok (226922) | 1 year,28 days | (#43221341)

Why would I care if Facebook is tracking on every internet page? ... What a terrible tragedy it is that people want to sell me things that I think I'd like!

That's not all they use the information for. Several companies have been caught altering prices based on tracking information.

For example, web flight booking sites will raise their prices automatically if you return to the site later.

Many websites automatically jack up prices if they detect that you're from Australia.

Amazon was caught adding small offsets to the prices of items for different customers, and then analysing behaviour to set prices. I can imagine a Facebook-tracking integrated system that detects if you have "expensive tastes" based on what you "Like" in Facebook, and automatically jacking up prices sky-high, assuming you're rich and willing -- nay -- eager to spend more.

Don't be fooled: tracking is not for your benefit. It's for someone else's profit, which aligns with your own interests only coincidentally.

Re:How about... (2)

AmiMoJo (196126) | 1 year,28 days | (#43222101)

Adults mostly understand that marketing is bullshit and the value of money, but kids don't. That is why we regulate advertising to children more heavily than for adults.

Re:How about... (2, Insightful)

Doctor_Jest (688315) | 1 year,28 days | (#43219575)

These same folks who are up in arms about the Nanny State when it comes to large drinks and smoking have no concept of individual liberty, because they're perfectly at home banning a Constitutionally enumerated right 'for the children'. That includes speech and the right to bear arms. The irony is lost on them...

We live in a world where the people in power have two opposing ideas in their heads that they can magically agree are not at odds with each other.... (Witness cunt Feinstein's argument that the Assault Weapons Ban isn't a "ban"... it's a list of "approved" weapons.)

WTF planet did I land on?

Re:How about... (3, Insightful)

Intropy (2009018) | 1 year,28 days | (#43219651)

Plenty of the same folks up in arms about drink and smoking are also up in arms about other rights. Unfortunately too few. People have a real problem separating "I don't think you should do that." from "I'm going to force you not to do that." I don't smoke, and I don't have any interest is using marijuana. And, frankly, I think you're better off not participating in either of those vices either*. But if you want to do that or allow people to do that at your restaurant, that is none of my business. I'll save my parenting for my actual kids. In Washington sometimes I win (legalized marijuana), but more often I lose (no smoking in publicly accessible private places).

* I'm speaking to the majority case here. I know perfectly well that for some people doing either can be a rational choice. The point is that it's your choice, good or bad, and not mine.

Re:How about... (1)

aztracker1 (702135) | 1 year,28 days | (#43220679)

Agreed, I tend to favor the less intrusive action/inaction... I don't own a gun, or smoke (anything), I only drink a handful of times a year... but I don't think these are things that should be outlawed.. and for the most part, I think if you want to run a business, you should be able to allow pretty much anything you could allow in your own home. But hey, that's just me. It's like the people that bitch about Walmart destroying other businesses.. then don't shop at Walmart.. if enough people agree, you win... Though I do wish they were a bit more like they were when Sam Walton was alive, they are very consumer driven, and pretty responsive, at least to their customers.

Re:How about... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43221797)

Partly i agree, but smoking in restaurants (as an example)? No, smokers can do that somewhere else where it won't affect people who do not want to smoke.

Re:How about... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43221857)

but it becomes this creeping thing until the point that smokers aren't allowed to smoke anywhere and the most evil regressive tax in our country is places on the poorest segment of the population.

Re:How about... (2)

AmiMoJo (196126) | 1 year,28 days | (#43222117)

The large drink ban should be okay then. You can still buy two regular size drinks, no freedom lost. You probably won't because it makes you look like a glutton and doesn't seem like good value. The psychology is well understood.

Re:How about... (0)

Doctor_Jest (688315) | 1 year,28 days | (#43222299)

That's not the point. The Big Gulp was exempted from the ban, btw. I don't need the state telling me how much I can drink. I don't need the state telling me that a gun with a collapsible stock is somehow more 'evil' than one without. The government needs its nose out of my bedroom and my house. That's what the Bill of Rights was supposed to enumerate. They were not for us, because we already have those rights... they are for the government to know where not to tread. They're not rights up for "negotiation", or "manipulation" because of someone's distorted idea of what's good for us.

C.S. Lewis said it best:

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.

That sums up that asshole in New York, that cunt from California, and the morons in the White House.

Re:How about... (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43219743)

Parents shouldn't have to constantly spy on their kids to make sure they aren't giving out information online that online advertisers (DoubleClick) and services (Facebook) are preying upon. Also, even if they did or sat down and had that talk with them every week so they were reminded not to do this the moment it happens anyways it's already too late and the information is out there. The internet never forgets. I'm totally in favor of these trifling bastards being regulated about our damn privacy for once. Personally, I wish this law applied to everyone. You should have to get permission to collect an ADULTS information as well how about that!

Re:How about... (2)

roman_mir (125474) | 1 year,28 days | (#43219749)

Impossible. That would require a level of personal responsibility that the government has long denied the people have. Though it is funny that the government is so vocal about democratic elections, as if the people who are so stupid in every day lives, that they can't choose what size soda to drink and how to save for retirement on their own can responsibly elect their own government in a democratic manner. How are people managing this level of dichotomy is beyond me, but I guess it's the age old adage about a person not understanding something if his paycheck depends on not understanding it.

You must be clueless (1, Insightful)

bussdriver (620565) | 1 year,28 days | (#43219753)

Ok, how about the parent watches the child nearly all the time:
Corporations can still track and profile the kid from birth. The child can be targeted in ways the parent is unaware of, since they lack expertise in child psychology, marketing, peer pressure, and whatever new technology only the kids are using. Don't forget about abusive ex-spouses and kidnappers. Excluding pedos, because they are likely friends or family.

The child's future employment (just for starters) could be influenced by data gathered on them. The parent may not know. Already some HR people won't hire somebody without a facebook profile (and others won't if you do have one.) So, keeping the child off the grid may also do harm in the future.

Children without a profile might be more prone to costly insurance claims...Resulting in higher rates for the child's whole lifetime.

There is more than just kid doing childish things online.... although we really could use some laws to allow kids to mess up online instead of criminalizing them for calling somebody names because they can't get that out of their system in the school yard anymore.

Re:How about... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43219989)

We need parents to go work longer hours for less pay than decades ago, so that the people who own the companies they work for will make more money. Then in a few years the latchkey kids can do the same for the rich man's kids.

Re:How about... (1, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | 1 year,28 days | (#43219991)

How about we stop it with the nanny-state crap and FUD about online and have parents -gasp- parent?

Because the times have changed. In the "roaring 50s" you could be a single-earner household and support the spouse and two kids, and live in a nice house and drive a nice car. These days, however, dual-income families are the norm, and you don't usually get the nice house and nice car either. Parents cannot be full-time in this economy. As a result, the government is stepping in with greater regulation. Ideally, yes, "parents should parent". Ideally, all children and their families should be shipped to a special state called Crotch Fruit too. However, this is not an ideal world.

You know, like tell you kids basic stuff like don't give out addresses online, don't go meet people online, etc

And you always did what you were told as a kid, right?

This will be a never ending battle, anytime a kid does something stupid and gets hurt because of it people will petition the government to "do something" and slowly the internet gets regulated to death.

Imminent Death of the Internet Predicted! Whoa there, Slippery Slope Internet Guy(tm). People have been doing stupid shit and getting hurt and then petitioning the government to do something about it since the first government was formed. It didn't result in the end of society as we know it. It does result in hilarity however, like the woman who spilled hot coffee in her crotch and then sued McDonald's, or proposed anti-assault rifle legislation that says gluing a stick to your shotgun makes it a "military-style" weapon. Strangely, McDonald's didn't go out of business, coffee didn't become illegal, and shotguns are still in the households of millions of Americans, including the "military-style" ones with a stick duct taped to it.

Now I will grant you that this piece of legislation has some problems, but let's discuss those problems rather than having a knee-jerk "regulation is bad! It'll cause the end of the world as we know it!" reaction.

Re:How about... (2)

Intropy (2009018) | 1 year,28 days | (#43220147)

Because the times have changed. In the "roaring 50s" you could be a single-earner household and support the spouse and two kids, and live in a nice house and drive a nice car.

That was never true for everyone just like

Parents cannot be full-time in this economy.

is not true for everyone now. And how much of this has to do with wanting to work outside the house or your perceptions or what really qualifies as "nice?"

Let's discuss those problems rather than having a knee-jerk "regulation is bad! It'll cause the end of the world as we know it!" reaction.

Would you accept an argument that regulation is bad because even though it won't end the world as we know it, it's just one more small step the wrong way that we don't need to take?

Re:How about... (2)

girlintraining (1395911) | 1 year,28 days | (#43220491)

That was never true for everyone just like

The 1950s saw the rise of the United States as an economic superpower. Our economy grew by 30% in a decade [shmoop.com], a radical change over today's sluggish quarter-percentage improvements. However, it's clear by the fact you got modded up and my post down, that slashdot is increasingly a place where people are apparently oblivious to historical realities, preferring instead revisionist history that makes all times in the past the same as they are in the present.

And how much of this has to do with wanting to work outside the house or your perceptions or what really qualifies as "nice?"

It has nothing to do with either. In the 50s, most families were single-income, not dual-income as they are today. That means that there was a full time parent present. That's not nearly as true today as it was then. That was my only observation. You're trying to turn it into something more.

Would you accept an argument that regulation is bad because even though it won't end the world as we know it, it's just one more small step the wrong way that we don't need to take?

No, I would not. Regulation is necessary. Imagine trying to drive on the roads if there were no rules. Red means stop, green means go... that's all regulation, and it enables us to function as a society. Take that away, and what you've got is anarchy. So yes, I think saying all regulation is bad is about the stupidest thing you can say. But this shouldn't be a surprise to anyone -- statements which include the words always or never are dead-ringers that the statement is going to be false. I'm the only one here apparently who realizes that some regulation is necessary, and although I stated in the OP that the some part is debatable, none is not.

Slashdot has become a den of hipsters and half-witted IT wannabes, too inexperienced or dense to realize that the larger society is one of compromise and negotiation, not idealism and absolutes. Children do need to be protected online. There has to be regulation online. The discussion is not whether to regulate, but how and how much. That may not be a politically popular statement to make on a website that increasingly caters to extremist and idiosyncratic viewpoints, but it is the most reasonable one.

Re:How about... (1)

Intropy (2009018) | 1 year,28 days | (#43220769)

In the 1950s "single-income" meant the man worked and the woman raised the kids. And there's nothing wrong with that setup. That's my family, too. But increasingly women have been finding the opportunity to work outside the home available to them. Is it any surprise that some would avail themselves of that opportunity? I think it's incorrect to assert that the rise in dual-income households is not partially attributable to an increase in equality between the sexes.

How do you get from no COPPA to no red lights? You attacked Darkness for being "Slippery Slope Internet Guy(tm)" when he suggested that COPPA is a step on the path to killing the internet with regulation. But at least those two things are dealing with regulation of the same thing.

And could you please tone down the insults, some?

Re:How about... (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | 1 year,28 days | (#43220891)

I think it's incorrect to assert that the rise in dual-income households is not partially attributable to an increase in equality between the sexes.

I was stating that there has been a change; I have said nothing about its cause.

How do you get from no COPPA to no red lights? You attacked Darkness for being "Slippery Slope Internet Guy(tm)" when he suggested that COPPA is a step on the path to killing the internet with regulation. But at least those two things are dealing with regulation of the same thing.

The original poster was saying that "regulation will kill the internet". Not this regulation, but any regulation. This is stupid: Traffic laws are regulations, and they didn't kill the automobile. They didn't kill transportation.

And could you please tone down the insults, some?

I'm pointing out egregious failures in basic logic. If that's insulting to you, then I suggest you describe your position better and/or not defend a position so obviously flawed.

Re:How about... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43221411)

But increasingly women have been finding the opportunity to work outside the home available to them. Is it any surprise that some would avail themselves of that opportunity?

Eh? No-one wants to 'avail of the opportunity' to work. We work because we have to, otherwise we starve or go to prison.

Are you a CEO per chance?

Re:How about... (2)

Penguinisto (415985) | 1 year,28 days | (#43220853)

I agree with most of your post, except...

Children do need to be protected online.

Wait - why? There are no laws in the physical realm that require shopkeepers or suchlike to treat any child wandering in with kid gloves, and there is no real-world equivalent of COPPA out here. Instead, parents watch what their kids do when outside the home, and there are laws in place which either prevent or punish any dumbass trying to prey on a child. The Internet can use those same laws, since it isn't some alternate universe, but the same world we live in now - but 'with a computer' (to draw parallels with the patent world).

We don't need dumbassed 'cyber-bullying' laws when anti-harassment laws already exist, and a court can get ISP records with a warrant. There are a plethora of laws and punishments in place to deal with pedophiles and wannabes.

Re:How about... (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | 1 year,28 days | (#43222137)

Actually there are loads of real-life protections for kids. They can't make contracts, can't agree to certain activities like sex. You can't sell them cigarettes or some weapons. Even coercing them to go somewhere with you is usually illegal without parental consent.

Re:How about... (2)

sjames (1099) | 1 year,28 days | (#43220539)

Given the way pay has been stagnant for years while costs haven't been, I's have to say a lot of it is that a lot fewer people can actually afford to be single income families anymore.

If the government REALLY wants to do something for the children, it can tackle that problem.

Re:How about... (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43221813)

The answer to that is unions. But americans don't want to hear that, because for too long their unions have been a bunch of corrupt thugs.

Re:How about... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43221099)

All of which is a problem for the parents, no one else. I believe enacting freedom-violating nonsense such as this to 'protect the children' is naive and idiotic, and I seriously hope you weren't defending it. If you were, you might as well defend the TSA.

Re:How about... (1)

Guppy06 (410832) | 1 year,28 days | (#43220073)

Organizations have a hard enough time explaining to their adult employees how to avoid phishing scams and the like, and they have knowledgeable professionals doing the training. It is wholly unrealistic to expect one or two individual parents to be able to adequately protect the privacy and information security of minors against entities that have the drive and resources of Facebook.

Re:How about... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43221147)

COPPA doesn't stop existing criminals from performing already criminal activities. Phishing will still happen to everyone with access to a credit card. It simply makes all existing non-criminal practices criminal if they are performed without an age checkbox.

Re:How about... (1)

manu0601 (2221348) | 1 year,28 days | (#43220391)

I understand that law is here so that Facebook helps you being a responsible parent, instead of wrecking your attempts at it, as it would naturally do if there were no law.

Re:How about... (1)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | 1 year,28 days | (#43220393)

How about we stop it with the nanny-state crap and FUD about online and have parents -gasp- parent? You know, like tell you kids basic stuff like don't give out addresses online, don't go meet people online, etc. This will be a never ending battle, anytime a kid does something stupid and gets hurt because of it people will petition the government to "do something" and slowly the internet gets regulated to death. Seriously, how hard is it to tell your kid don't tell someone where you are and don't meet them?

Most adults can't even get these things right. Especially when it comes to things like geotagged images from a cellphone. They're going to teach kids things they don't know how to do? Righteous!

The reality is most people don't even know stuff like that is included in photo metadata. For that matter, most people probably have never even heard of metadata.

Re:How about... (1)

aztracker1 (702135) | 1 year,28 days | (#43220715)

Or worse, a lot of professionals don't get it either.. they'll upload JPG files that were edited, with all the edits stored in the metadata, leaving a multi-MB file upload.. so that gets delivered to their users. It's not hard to setup a program to strip the data, and optimize the encoding of an image.. with a little lossy conversion, you usually get the image size to under half of what the original was or less.

Re:How about... actually giving a crap? (3, Insightful)

girlinatrainingbra (2738457) | 1 year,28 days | (#43220599)

It's not so much about parents parenting but about stopping the powerful from taking advantage of the powerless. It's kind of like what the whole Transformers' cartoon crap was: the show was a full half-hour length commercial for toys. It takes the FCC or governmental action to stop everything on TV from being straight-out plain marketing to kids who can't tell the difference between content and commercials, between truth and puffery/advertising, between reality and fantasy.
.
It's why kids fall for things like opening themselves up to ridicule and bullying on sites like formspring or (while it existed) dailybooth, where junior-high-schoolers I knew (and even middle-school kids below us) set themselves up to deviants and bullies asking them stupid salacious questions and they answered them. Now of course they brought a bit of it upon themselves by their own action, but sometimes it is up to those who are more responsible to get in the way of the weak from being trod upon, eh?
.
Consumer laws exist to protect adults from sleazy car salesmen and criminally-intent stock-brokers (though kickstarter and the decrease in regulation of allowing funding of companies is going to kick down that safety net). IMHO it's okay to have laws that protect kids at or under the age of 13 from the nefarious intentions of the googler-corporations of the world. I know that the free-market-eers and the libertarians will say "let the free market work it out" and "let capitalism work it out", but sometimes regulations are necessary so that the young and weak are not exploited.

Re:How about... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43221049)

The point of this law is to prevent children from inadvertantly giving out their address. How many people realize that posting a photo tells people where you live? Most parents probably don't even realize that their cameras are putting GPS information into their photos, let alone their preteen children.

I agree that this law is stupid (essentially forcing every US web site to ban children -- you can't participate on StackOverflow until you're 13?), but it's hard to argue that parents can be expected to take full responsibility for complex technological restrictions that most people can't understand.

dom

Re:How about... (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | 1 year,28 days | (#43221203)

but it's hard to argue that parents can be expected to take full responsibility for complex technological restrictions that most people can't understand.

Well, that's really too bad for them then, isn't it? The occasional child getting hurt doesn't make laws like this worthwhile to me in the least.

Re:How about... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43221471)

Most parents probably don't even realize that their cameras are putting GPS information into their photos

Most cameras don't have GPS receivers, and those that do generally can't obtain a fix in the time taken to take turn-on the camera and take a snapshot.

Any more fear-mongering you'd like me to dispel...?

Re:How about... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43221625)

How about instead we start enforcing basic privacy laws for everyone rather than just kids?

Re:How about... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43221739)

I feel it's time to adapt old "So, you're proposing to fight spam..." form for this.

Basic privacy laws are already enforced for everyone. Publishing your private details without your consent is most likely illegal already. If you mean "Stop Faceoogle tracking me on the Internet" - nope, laws won't help you there.

See that "Cookie policy" link in /.'s footer? That's whole effect of EU's efforts to OMG STOP UNWANTED COOKIES - they made website operators add popups (or even just links) and update ToS to say "We're using cookies, also we're using gAnalytics. Don't like it - go away", nothing more substantial. Same with COPPA - websites added "We don't knowingly collect info about children" to ToS and "if(age13) throw new ETooYoung();" to registration form.

Any new law will have same effect: Yeah, laws forbid tracking without consent, but hey, you gave consent when you accepted ToS, now just wait while we shift these meaningless updates costs back to you.

End game: License required for internet (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43219453)

Eventually, like so many other things in this country, they will pass so many burdensome regulations and rules that the only way to protect yourself and be sure you are not allowing 'undesirables' to use your site is to require everyone to have a license to use the internet. Gotta love the nanny state.

Finally... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43219459)

"Think of the children" will actually be good for the rest of us too.

This might be a good thing... (2)

ZorinLynx (31751) | 1 year,28 days | (#43219467)

This might keep video game websites from making you enter your date of birth to watch their videos!

I always wondered what the point of that was. Anyone who wants to see the video is going to lie about their age if they're under 18!

Re:This might be a good thing... (4, Insightful)

DrEldarion (114072) | 1 year,28 days | (#43219543)

The point is that it shifts the blame slightly. With age verification, they have the ability to say "we restrict based on age, THAT KID is the one who lied, blame them!".

Re:This might be a good thing... (2)

mark-t (151149) | 1 year,28 days | (#43219649)

How long is it before that's countered with the notion that not taking some measures to prevent people from lying about their age could be construed as allow underage people to use the services.

At least in a bar, you have to show some real ID... they won't just ask you your age and be satisfied with the answer if you look like you might be under the legal drinking age.

Re:This might be a good thing... (1)

Entropius (188861) | 1 year,28 days | (#43220295)

So I guess these websites need to implement Leisure Suit Larry-style questionnaires to verify people's age, eh?

Re:This might be a good thing... (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | 1 year,28 days | (#43220631)

REAL ID. Child must input his/her number to be cross verified with a centrally managed government site. Once the token of 'clear' is given back, may the hosting website in question been granted legal permission to provide said child with the content requested.

That's where this shit is headed

Re:This might be a good thing... (1)

dissy (172727) | 1 year,28 days | (#43221085)

I agree. If a child lies about their age, the parent should be punished for not preventing their child from lying.

How would you feel knowing your mom and or dad may be fined or even jailed simply because you wish it? Or are you going to claim you never once lied as a child?

Re:This might be a good thing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43221639)

How long is it before that's countered with the notion that not taking some measures to prevent people from lying about their age could be construed as allow underage people to use the services.

Like the copy protection of early Leisure Suit Larry games?

Re:This might be a good thing... (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43220159)

Does this mean that if I enter my age as 10, sites can't track me?

Re:This might be a good thing... (1)

hedwards (940851) | 1 year,28 days | (#43220429)

I was wondering about that. If we don't enter our information to sites, how do they know that we're old enough to be legally tracked?

Re:This might be a good thing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43220509)

They just put in their terms of service that their site may be used only by those 13 years of age or older. Granted, they're still breaking the law every time a kid visits their web site, but for some reason this gets them out of any liability.

Personally, I'd love to see this law enforced 100%. Collect information about some 12 year old and you get fined, even if you didn't know they were 12, and even if you asked and they lied. It would only make sense, given that stores selling cigarettes or alcohol don't get a free pass simply because they kid lied. The effect would be to essentially shut down the entire internet, which might make the lawmakers realize how stupid they're being. ...or, at least, I hope it would.

Re:This might be a good thing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43220281)

So if I lie about my age to make myself 12 years old does that work at blocking ads and tracking...

Raise age limit to anyone less than 100 years old? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43219493)

Online privacy, done in one.

Re:Raise age limit to anyone less than 100 years o (2)

Intropy (2009018) | 1 year,28 days | (#43219675)

Cripple the internet for all! This nonsense is the reason I can't get my daughter an email address without lying on some form somewhere, which itself is probably considered "hacking" or something similarly crazy

Lobbying pays (1)

Tokolosh (1256448) | 1 year,28 days | (#43219509)

Just another device to protect incumbents. This capitalism is starting to give free enterprise a bad name.

Re:Lobbying pays (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43220399)

Huh? All of the big players in the web industry lobbied AGAINST this. The comments on the FTC's proposed rulemaking are public record.

Oh great (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43219607)

More restrictions for my cat.

Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43219627)

All of those things are the parent's responsibility, not the governments.

Yet... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43219637)

Yet TSA can molest kids and see them naked.

They need to make it a crime for a minor to lie... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43219671)

If a 12 year old lies to create a Facebook account, he should be arrested, and sentenced to Juvenile Hall until he turns 21. Problem solved!

It is not a stricter law (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | 1 year,28 days | (#43219701)

There are no "stricter COPPA Laws" coming. There are stricter regulations enforcing the COPPA law that already exists. The problem is that once again we are asking the government to do the job of somebody else, in this case the parents.

Why only for children? Why not for adults too? (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43219717)

I wish the government would get serious about protecting the privacy of all citizens, not just those under 13 years old.

Future headline (1)

detritus. (46421) | 1 year,28 days | (#43220017)

Man who claims he posed as an underage minor for "privacy" protections is now in a lot of legal trouble. More details on what charges he faces and what you can do to protect your kids at 11.

Surely Unenforcable (3, Interesting)

rueger (210566) | 1 year,28 days | (#43219747)

Short of insisting that everyone who visits provide photo ID, I cannot see how this could work.

Surely any kid with two brain cels to rub together already knows to just lie about their age, or to use their best friend's e-mail for the parental approval?

Re:Surely Unenforcable (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43219993)

You could try reading the rulemaking, since this is obviously an issue that they thought about already.

The Internet is not for Children (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43220811)

The internet is a not for children. It is very hard to moderate content.

Children should not be allowed in it unsupervised.

Do I think that everyone should be punished for that to happen? Well, to be frank, we are punished in so many ways anyway. The schools are not free, healthcare is not either. Neither are the gazillion things that everyone say it should be, and are to many.

I get punished in taxes for all of this. This one small punishment is so tiny compared to the rest, that I can't even feel it.

Re:The Internet is not for Children (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43221181)

Children should not be allowed in it unsupervised.

It seems like you're generalizing here. I know a number of children who aren't imbeciles, and I myself wouldn't have been able to learn as many things as I did if I was only allowed to use the Internet when my parents were around.

These laws are stupid, but so are statements like that.

COPPA is ridiculous in the first place. (3, Interesting)

NeveRBorN (86123) | 1 year,28 days | (#43220999)

As the father of a daughter who will be 13 in less than a week, I can say that COPPA was ridiculous in the first place. Like so many laws and regulations in place today, it provides nothing but the illusion of security. To those who believe it accomplished something... Sorry, but you've been had. Your kids likely have every account imaginable and because you're so naive you don't have a clue. Not only that, but because of the restrictions, your kids have been missing out on really good opportunities that they otherwise may have had.

Sadly because of COPPA, we haven't seen many services developed geared towards kids. Our children are likely missing out on huge educational opportunities simply due to the fact that providing internet services to them is such a pain in the ass. Frankly, it pisses me off because in my opinion, the government should have no say over what I allow my daughter to share online. Policing her is my job as her father, not yours. Knowing what I need to know to do so is also my problem. If I were to choose not to, that would be my own problem.

Tracking.. (1)

cyberjock1980 (1131059) | 1 year,28 days | (#43221723)

So are we saying that if I go surfing the net everywhere claiming to be a 12 year old that I'll have a safer internet experience than being an adult?

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