The FTC (Federal Trade Commission) is now offering a $50,000 prize to whomever can come up with the best solution to stop illegal political Robo Calls. Applications start on October 25 and the agency is also saying whoever wins will become a “National Hero”.
You can learn more or tune in to Twitter on October 5 to learn more about the challenge.
The National Do Not Call Registry is located at https://www.donotcall.gov/ and was created as a free resource for consumers and marketers to make it easier to stop annoying phone calls. One you are on the list, you do not have to resubmit your name, however it is possible the telemarketers do not obey or subscribe to the list.
The National Do Not Call Registry gives you a choice about whether to receive telemarketing calls at home. Most telemarketers should not call your number once it has been on the registry for 31 days. If they do, you can file a complaint at this Website. You can register your home or mobile phone for free.
Internet cookies are fast becoming one of the biggest causes for online privacy concerns. Most large websites, including Google, Facebook, and Amazon, use Internet cookies to temporarily track consumer data online. They then use this information to suggest products, make purchase recommendations, or promote specific advertisements based on your previous web search activity.
This past week, the Federal Trade Commission settled a privacy dispute with another website, ScanScout, over opt-out promises. The company had been promising site visitors they could opt out of ads if they chose to block cookies in their browser settings. Sounds fair, right? It wasn’t. ScanScout wasn’t using traditional HTTP cookies that could be blocked. Rather, the company was using Flash cookies, which store user information in a completely different place than HTTP cookies. That means that users couldn’t actually block those cookies, since they weren’t controlled by the browser.
The FTC alleged that by promising to provide consumer privacy controls that weren’t really available, ScanScout misrepresented its services and tricked users into believing they could keep their information private when they couldn’t really do so. An even bigger cause for concern is the fact that ScanScout got away with this for over three years, from April 2007 and December 2010.
Since the company didn’t charge any fees for this service, the FTC settlement is not a financial one. However, ScanScout will be required to display a message that clearly explains the company’s use of private user data and gives site visitors a defined way to opt out of the service. The FTC will decide whether to make this decision final on December 8.
Image c/o: anomalous4
The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) was established in 1998 and is a law that was passed by Congress to protect the online information of children from being shared with third parties. This law was well-intentioned and looks out for children under the age of 13, who may not have the best discretion and are often the biggest targets for marketing companies. Although privacy advocates and parents are continuously pushing for stricter laws on online privacy, it’s interesting to note that a recent study found that the majority of parents who had kids on Facebook knew it – and helped them get there.
The study was conducted by Harris Interactive and polled the parents of kids ages 10 to 14. Most were aware that their children had accounts on Facebook and actually helped them lie about their birth dates to create an account. Even though COPPA is designed to help protect kids, this law can’t carry out its full expectations when children and parents are outwardly going against its terms.
And for those who are on Facebook, you know that it’s not that hard to create an account, as a birth date is needed and just about anyone can tweak the year the child was born. Because of privacy issues, it’s difficult to check the birth date to ensure it’s legitimate, as there would need to be access to children’s birth records and other pertinent information.
As the internet grows to include more social media networking sites, COPPA rules have had to adjust their laws to protect children. However, the online privacy of children can never be truly protected when parents and kids are lying to get around them.
Most parents agree that they don’t find social networking sites like Facebook to be a threat to their child, which is why they allow them to overstep the boundaries. With the notion that ‘everyone’s on Facebook’, most parents feel that they can monitor their child just fine by watching over his or her account and being friends on Facebook.
The Federal Trade Commission doesn’t agree and warns that children under the age of 13 are not only targets of marketing companies, but also lack the awareness to watch over their information and protect themselves from predators. The best tactic – if the site isn’t designed for kids and pre-teens, let the rules speak for themselves. There’s no reason to lie to get around the hurdles, when your child will be 13 one day soon.
Source: CBS News
Online privacy is always a source of debate, especially when it comes to children. While you may be in awe at how well your child can navigate the internet, the judgment he or she has may be poor when it comes to offering up “personal information” that many sites request. The Federal Trade Commission announced last week that they will be revising the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act to cover technologies such as web and mobile platforms.
The revisions are designed to protect children, who are commonly using the online platform, but are also too quick to share their personal information. These changes will make it mandatory for online sites to post notices and obtain parental consent before collecting information. There will be new ways to collect this consent and to provide the proof that the information they are collecting is relevant to their cause.
For example, some online websites create a social platform for kids. They use the information to make the place fun and exciting for children, honor birthdays and connect kids with others of similar interests or locations.
If a parent does choose to give their consent, the website must also show how they are going to use the information and what efforts they make to protect it. And no longer will you have to worry about the “personal information” that is collected. This term is quite vague and can include anything from your child’s first name to his or her geographical location. With these new revisions, websites will need to clarify what “personal information” is collected.
The only downside is that these changes are for children and not teens, which are still a source of concern. Teens are also more likely to use poor judgment and provide information when they shouldn’t. And, teenagers spend some of the most time on the internet, so they deserve to be protected, too.
In the meantime, stay tuned for these revisions to take place and for websites to start providing more information when it comes to children.
Image Source: sheknows.com