Feeds

US advertisers question Web rules for kiddies

Forge a note from Mum and we'll do business...

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

3 Big data security analytics techniques

The US Federal Trade Commission issued new rules governing the collection of children's personal information by Webmasters yesterday, as required by the Child Online Protection Act (COPA). Kids' Web sites will now be required to obtain parental consent before gathering demographic data on children below age 13. Numerous kids' Web sites function as little more than demographics clearinghouses, offering free entertainment and online amusements in exchange for the registration data which they analyse and sell to advertising firms. Advertising front groups have lobbied hard on Capitol Hill against parental verification requirements, chiefly because setting them up in any effective manner would likely push the cost of the data to a point exceeding its value, or at least close enough to it to make the whole operation more trouble than its worth. Advertising is a $600 billion a year operation in the US, with Web pitches representing roughly one per cent of that. Kids, whose entire commercial identities are overwhelmingly that of care-free consumers, represent a special target. A great deal of money and effort goes into marketing to children, whose incomes, strictly speaking, are entirely disposable. Separating them from their allowances has become something of a science unto itself. Privacy groups have been equally vocal in registering their contempt for the commercial use of kids' personal data, especially where very young ones, who may not have a clue what the information will be used for, are concerned. The FTC listened, and thought, and developed a scaled approach which would burden most heavily those firms gathering the most detailed data for sale to a third-party, and imposing the lightest burden on those that keep non-specific data in house. At the upper end, a fax, a signed letter (not in crayon), or a credit card might be required before a child could register on a site. At the lower extreme, a simple email and a follow-up phone call from a friend with a deep voice would do the trick. Early soundings from both industry flacks and privacy advocates have been remarkably positive. It may well be that vagueness in the regulations is producing considerable optimism on both sides, which can only be crushed by bitter experience when they take effect in April. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Number crunching suggests Yahoo! US is worth less than nothing
China and Japan holdings worth more than entire company
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.