December 15th, 2015

Better Business Bureau advises online safety for kids

Darien Times

Connecticut Better Business Bureau urges parents to oversee young children going online and using apps related to the holidays. There are federal regulations in place to protect young children from personal information collection, but to make it work, parents have to be involved.

Some of the main attractions for youngsters at this time of year are “Dear Santa” websites and smart device apps that, for example, help monitor Santa’s trip from the North Pole. There is however, a price to pay even if the app is free. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) “Mobile apps can capture a broad range of user information from the device automatically, including the user’s precise geolocation, phone number, list of contacts, call logs, unique device identifiers and other information stored on the mobile device, and can share this data with a large number of possible recipients.”

The good news is that the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) helps protect children under 13, by requiring parents’ consent before any private or personal information is collected, shared or used.  Armed with such information, parents can make educated decisions about their children’s and family’s privacy.

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