As outlined in the regulation, private information include all information that can be used to contact or identify a child such as names, photograph, email address and telephone number among others. The analysis of this regulation is vital for businesses as increase in online business services is an issue to be experienced continuously in future. However, with the upsurge, the business community needs to understand what is required of them by the law in regards to dealing with children more specifically how to uphold the privacy of such children. Creating awareness of the content of the regulation on specific issues is thus imperative, and it is the aim of this memorandum. Therefore, this memorandum will provide a succinct analysis of the Act specifically focusing on its impact on the business, pros, cons, and critique among other issues.
Additionally, the third party information collectors such as plug-ins are subject to the rules established by the COPPA similar to operators who have children related websites. However, as result of logistic hurdles potentially to be experienced by the third party in knowing whether their plug-ins are used in children websites, the FTC gave an exception by removing the third party liability save in cases when they “know or have reason to know” that the host website is using their services for a purposes of collecting children information without any parental verifiable consent. There is also an endorsed scale approach under the 2012 Act for mixed audience websites (Matecki 384). The scale is focused towards embracing of reality that many websites employing the use app to deals and target fall under a specific continuum and offering different degrees of appeal among the children.
As a result, websites which are considered to have a child-related content and its appeal are directed towards a mixed audience; it will only be allowed to age-screen the content and comply with the user's age of under 13 years. Discussion Businesses in this era of globalization have shifted from the traditional aspects of face to face trade to more internet-oriented dealings. Most of the businesses are currently done on an online platform, and advertising has also been shifted to online platforms as well. In such a situation, business operators must understand all the implications of enticing their customers through such advertisement as provided by the law. In the light of rapid technological changes, the Federal Trade Commission in 2012 offered proposed rule changes to the previous 2005 COPPA (Federal Trade Commission).
Compared to 2005, in 2012 American market had seen a great use of mobile devices, children’s interactive gaming and the online media proliferation among many children. Despite the fact that the Act a set up precise age threshold, there is no limitation in regards to the further state governments imposition of further stricter rules outlined under the state laws. As a result, there might be a variance in regards to age limit provided under the federal COPPA and what state governments adopt. There are several constitutional as well as economic drawbacks in regards to the verification system of COPPA. The verification method by the established under the Act from faxing printed and signed forms, credit card numbers supplements, digital signatures forwarding by use of email as well as calling toll-free numbers are not only expensive but inadequate and time-consuming in the protection of personal information (Electronic Privacy Information Center).
Despite the vast emerging technologies the current methods of verification provided under the Act are too slow, impractical and cumbersome. For instance, according to a testimony given to the Congress by Jonathan Zuck who is the president of Association of Competitive Technology representing small-scale businesses indicated that the goal of protecting children under COPPA had not yet been realized (Matecki 382). The increased possibility of age falsification also gives way to more challenges such as the restriction of children from accessing the internet for both functional and education purposes (Matecki 383). The free access to the internet for children could be hampered in cases where parental consent is needed. For instance, children would be prevented from accessing live chats, homework help, and other educational materials since most of the websites will provide children restrictions in order to comply with the COPPA requirements.
Disadvantages Most of the websites owners and developers have argued that it is expensive to comply with the regulations established by COPPA (Matecki 384). Cookies are also considered offensive to be obtained from children under the age of 13 where parental consent was not given. This is important because, as many advertising and online analytical businesses rely on specific identifiers in their activities more caution is thus provided to allow the businesses to be vigilant about their third-party APIs. Conclusion The primary goal of enacting COPPA was to protect the privacy of children under the age of 13. However, businesses and compromise of the children information have been rampant to the point that the number of critics has risen. Falsification has been encouraged since the standard of obtaining parental consent is likely to compromise without any notice.
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