If your kids have electronic devices, read this

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Did you buy electronic devices for your children this holiday season? I did — I bought one for my 9 year-old — and I want to share with you what I learned about protecting my kid’s personal information online.

The minute my son unwrapped his gift, he began using it and I immediately began worrying about his personal information being exposed. I learned that apps, online services, and websites that are directed to children under 13 years old have to get a parent’s approval before they can collect, use, or disclose kids’ personal information. The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) requires this. So, as a parent I have control over who collects my kid’s personal information online.

I don’t want my son’s – and our family’s – sensitive information shared with third parties I didn’t authorize. If you feel the same way, keep these two things in mind:

  1. Websites and apps that target kids must have a privacy policy that should be easy to find and understand. If you can’t find it or it’s not clear to you what the app or website will do with your kid’s info, don’t let your child use it. The operator of the site or app may be violating COPPA.
  2. If a website or app that targets children wants to collect your kid’s personal information, they need to get your express approval. If you think that a website or app has collected information from your child without authorization, report it to the FTC.

Unfortunately, some companies have violated COPPA and the FTC has had to step in. For example, the FTC announced that it settled charges with VTech, a company that develops electronic products and services for children, for allegedly violating COPPA.

For more information on how to protect kids online, visit ftc.gov/onguardonline.

Tagged with: COPPA, kids, online, privacy


Very helpful.

Exceptionally great report thanks

This is good to know! I'm posting this to all my friends on Facebook and Instagram!

Thank you

B what you mean facebook use myspace or aol instant messenger you can bootleg

I've been seeing this a lot on my phone I don't have any young children under Age.ihave been getting signs about this. Don't understand why.

Good report!

You can also add parental controls to most electronic devices to help.

good info. Just a note for parents, delay digital devices, smart phones and social media for as long as possible, they do not benefit kids, and they don't need them. Hope parents stop buying this stuff for their kids, that's a big part of the problem.

Ellie, I agree; however, it is society and especially schools, manufacturers marketing their new gadget etc. which are dictating this. See many people and not just kids glued to their cellphone when in a crosswalk and they are oblivious to their surroundings. Parents can forbid their children from doing things but in the end they may be bullied. What are your thoughts?

See, I have a question. And beford I start this age 13 snd below is not sufficient!

What about all the stealing and scraping of data by companies that began years ago to get what they could asap before there were any restrictions, albeit weak and vague rules. It would include kids info including voice and face recognition. Was the info determined and purged?
Also alot of families not knowing we were already being tracked and data taken had a shared computer. So the 9 year old uses it and dad uses, it and so on. Now they have info on the 9 year old and its tied/synced with any device he has (cell or iPad say)??
Also, the rule is only applied to sites that want to take kids info - they are supposed to get parents OK. So keep in mind - if your child Is using a website or online reading a book that isn’t about selling to children per say, but they do take information and they do track. As in all of the info they take and sell thats yours and mine. So, if say, child uses email or searches - Google grabs info and tracks where you are ( literally), so now they have done it with your child. Right? Its all BS. I’ll keep reading and see what I continue to learn. Be careful out there. Oh, Im a mom of a 27 year old just so you know

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