The F.T.C: Protecting Children or Interfering too Much?

Soon the F.T.C. will be placing even more rules on companies on the Internet in order to protect children. Apparently, companies have been tracking children in order to obtain more information for advertisers. These companies include those most likely that children would visit, such as Webkinz, McDonalds, Disney, etc. Some of these sites even collect children’s pictures and make them available in public directories. According to the article by Natasha Singer in the New York Times, there is already a rule in place under the Children’s Online Privacy Act of 1998 that requires website operators to obtain parental consent before the kids give out their phone numbers or physical addresses. However, largely because of mobile apps, this regulation has been easier to get around. Under the F.T.C.’s new proposals, children would be required to get their parents’ permission before submitting a picture of themselves. I think that this would be extremely helpful in protecting children. There are a lot of parents who are concerned with protecting their children, but acknowledge that it’s getting harder with the more technology that is available. I don’t think there is any other way but with more regulation. Of course, the other side of the argument, is to just watch your children more, so that the government does not have to keep interfering. But unfortunately, that just isn’t how the world works anymore. We need federal regulations in order to ensure child safety. NY Times Article:

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