Please Cancel Children's Online Privacy Protection Act

Please Cancel Children's Online Privacy Protection Act

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Hikaru =^__^= создал(а) эту петицию, адресованную President of the United States и

Children's Online Privacy Protection Act is a law with noble reasons but very harsh unintended consequences. Because of it, many websites have started simply banishing children under 13 to join instead of asking for verifiable parental consent. As a result, kids have started to lie about their age, and parents started helping them - which implies parental consent on its own, although not in a form approved by FTC. Sometimes parents manage kids accounts, which is exactly one step forward towards children's accessibility of online services - but parents do it instead of the kids, rather than together. Other parents simply force their children to wait until they turn 13, arguing that the Internet social media world is full of pedophiles, cyberbullying, scammers, mature content and so on - all while hypocritically letting them go to public schools and play outside on playgrounds.

Kids and parents lie about their age, as well as parents manage kids accounts, because online services that the kids can potentially use, can actually be beneficial for them. While Facebook has done a wise move to introduce Messenger Kids and Google has introduced Family Link as a way to get parental consents, not all Google's services are consentable through Family Link. Even though there are many child YouTubers, i.e. Ryan's Toys Reviews, Miss Katy and Mister Max etc, YouTube as a service is still 13+, and YouTube Kids is nothing but parental controls, rather than a "safer", "monitored by parents" version of the main YouTube, which is what many aspiring little YouTubers might want. Worse of all, SnapKidz is not even like SnapChat at all because it does not allow photo sharing even if it might ask for parental consent.

What's worse - because of COPPA, websites allow reporting children's accounts for being underage. People who do not even know these children are reporting them, which does absolutely nothing to protect privacy but only endangers it. Children are being stigmatized as vulnerable, immature, "jailbaits", drama princesses, and such because of their age. Parents are the only people that can be responsible for children's online service use, and as such, only they have legitimate authority to delete children's accounts.

Empowering parents and putting them in control alone - which was intended goal of COPPA - without socializing and cooperating with the children, aka being their "friend" rather than a "parent" - can lead to authoritarian, overprotective parenting, which damages and endangers children's mental health, let alone privacy.

To protect children, we need to LET THEM IN. Currently, this is possible by using parental consent. But there is much more things that are necessary to protect children's online privacy than just age restrictions and parental permissions, or maybe age restrictions and parental permissions might not even be necessary at all. Letting children in is the first step to protecting them online, because otherwise it would make literally no sense. It is just like "protecting" children from bike accidents by not letting them ride bikes, while there are helmets and cycling lanes for this. Second steps are education about online privacy and safety, as well as online socialization.

Better protection of kids personal information can come if you realize that literally everything, by its own nature, collects what you consider "personal information", and restrict only its use and disclosure, rather than collection as well. Security cameras collect children's personal information. Schools collect children's personal information. Even you collect children's personal information by looking at them without intending anything, just passing them by.

Dear FTC. Please understand what you have been doing with businesses, parents and children since 2000. Please look and reflect at your very own behavior.

Your law has turned children's online privacy into an excuse to not serve children online. Your fines have drawn businesses away from obtaining parental consent. Your "COPPA Workshops" do basically nothing to assess the real effects of the law. You need to either heavily reform or abolish it altogether. You need to think with the modern brain, rather than to be stuck in 1990s even while using analogies and similarities.

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