20 Years Young: The Maturing of COPPA in a Privacy-Conscious Age By Carolina Alonso, Alan L. Friel, Amy Ralph Mudge and Taylor A. Bloom on April 30, 2019 POSTED IN ADVERTISING, COPPA We cover children’s privacy and advertising weekly. However, in light of COPPA’s recent 20th anniversary, and in the wake of CARU’s biggest-yet West Coast CARU conference, ADLaw has enlisted CARU super lawyer Katie Goldstein* to help us recap the past 2.5 decades of KIDlaw.
Many months ago, major advertisers headed for the door due to an alleged pedophile ring that was leaving untoward comments on kid’s videos on YouTube. Instead of clamping down on illegal preteen accounts, YouTube disabled comments on videos that had kids in them regardless of who was responsible for the content and how responsible the channel owner was. Basically, if a video contains a kid in it, comments can be banned to prevent the leaving ickyness. At the same time, blatant COPPA violations have continued including YouTube deleting a comment from a 10-year-old where he admitted his age. They removed actual knowledge under COPPA. The channel was allowed to stand without the age confession and the child got around the comment ban by holding live feeds where he accepted money from adults.
To compound this sloppiness, YouTube demonitized and comment blocked family channels ran by parents and even adults who had videos of themselves when they were less than 18 years old. This includes Burke BunchTV (https://www.youtube.com/user/tchzwalp), Alec in WILDerland ran by a now 18-year-old (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FEGFdjQ8LIw) but previously professionally produced and maintained by adults and the eclectic and profane Maximus Thor (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzydWtf2Y5XQqKeEnO4gOvQ) which Maximus is a character and the channel is produced by his father.
So, what went right?
I give no credit to YouTube for the comment blocking because they not only have not introduced new ways to confront the preteen problem, they have made it worse by erasing evidence self-reported by underage channel owners. To take away up to a decade of comments from an adult ran channel when a kid is present in an older video is a serious blow to adults running their own channels. Comments are a lifeblood for creators that allows for feedback and suggestions. They are affirmations to the channel owner and help guide the direction of the channel. To remove comments from parent ran accounts is lazy and no advertiser should come back because of this “fix”. Demonitization picks the pockets of channel owners and denies advertisers from posting products on legitimate videos.
What went right is simple. Kids want the same affirmation. Without comments they don’t get to interact, and they are posting less because of it. The 10-year-old mentioned above hasn’t posted in two months. There is no way to report an age violation per day so even in the face of actual knowledge of his age they let him stay
YouTube got caught not policing its site and are punishing creators instead of putting in tools to kick off preteens. This 10-year-old kid has 2,388 subscribers and more than 700K on one video of him modeling a Speedo. There’s all kind of things wrong with this account including that it was created when he was 1 year old and has his real name listed.
Hopefully we’ll see tools that allow adults being allowed to moderate their own channels and one day see YouTube take COPPA seriously. In the meantime, I hope YouTube doesn’t get let off the hook after so many years of avoiding COPPA violations.
Earlier this month, the FTC sent a letter to Wildec, LLC, the Ukraine-based maker of several mobile dating apps, alleging that the apps were collecting the personal information and location data of users under the age of 13 without first obtaining verifiable parental consent or otherwise complying with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA)…
Protecting children’s data online must come to the forefront of GDPR enforcement following violations of child privacy online. It has been a year since the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force. Last May we saw businesses scrambling to get their houses in order realising the hefty fines they could face and others burying their heads in the sand. Violations for non-compliance can result in penalties up to four per cent of the organisations worldwide revenue or €20 million, whichever is greater
Finally, child data privacy could get much-needed reform in new bill The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, which was passed decades ago, could finally see a long-overdue update for an era in which social media and IoT devices present new risks. [Photo: scaliger/iStock] BY DJ PANGBURN4 MINUTE READ In the early days of the internet, the U.S. government passed The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). Its flaws–the ease with which children can fake their age, and no protection against ads–
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A while back, we warned you about the “one ring” scam. That’s when you get a phone call from a number you don’t know, and the call stops after just one ring. The scammer is hoping you’ll call back, because it’s really an international toll number and will appear as a charge on your phone bill — with most of the money going to the scammer. Well, the scam is back with a vengeance, and the FCC just issued a new advisory about it. Read the FCC’s advisory for more detail, but the advice from both agencies remains the same if you get one of these calls:
It’s National Small Business Week, a time when we celebrate the businesses that make our communities thrive. For the FTC, it’s an opportunity to let business owners know that when it comes to protecting your business from cyber threats, you’re not alone. The federal government has resources to help you address common cyber threats and create a culture of cybersecurity at your company. The materials at FTC.gov/Cybersecurity were introduced last year in cooperation with DHS, NIST, and the SBA.Read more >