6:235-E6-Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act

On District letterhead:

RE:      Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s):

This letter is being sent as part of the District’s continuing effort to educate parents and students about privacy protection and Internet use.

The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act gives parents control over what information websites can collect from their children. Many companies, however, are not providing information about what data a mobile app collects, who will have access to that data, and how it will be used. Allowing your child access to games and other seemingly harmless applications on a smartphone or computer risks his or her exposure to intrusive marketing and access to personal information.

A recent survey of apps for children by the Federal Trade Commission found that 10 percent of apps with social networking services did not disclose their presence; 17 percent of the apps allowed children to make purchases without parent/guardian consent; and 58 percent contained constant advertising, while less than 20 percent disclosed that advertising would appear.

The following suggestions may help keep children from being bombarded by unwanted advertising, from making unwanted purchases and from disclosing personal information and location:

  • Be choosy about the applications that you let your child use. Try the app yourself to check for advertising messages and/or social networking and purchase options before allowing your child access.
  • Select activities that do not require access to the Internet or an application, such as looking at family pictures or listening to preselected music, screened and approved by you.
  • Make certain that the ability to make purchases is password protected.
  • Set up family rules and consequences explaining that all purchases made via a smartphone or computer must have parent/guardian consent.
  • Caution children about the use of social networking and other sites and/or apps that can pinpoint locations.
  • Monitor computer and smartphone use whenever and wherever possible.

For more information on the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, please see the following links:

www.ftc.gov/opa/2012/12/kidsapp.shtm

www.ftc.gov/opa/reporter/privacy/coppa.shtml

Sincerely,

 

Dated Adopted:  04/05/2013