Internet Attorney Richard B. Newman keeps me apprised of important legal issues that affect all of us and I make sure others know about them.
The day after the FTC announced proposed changes to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), Richard had already done an in-depth analysis on how COPPA changes will affect businesses, publishers, advertisers and mobile app developers.
The next three quotes are from that analysis:
“The FTC has now proposed significant modifications to COPPA that will have a significant effect on the operation of websites, online services, and mobile applications that collect personal information from children.”
Lest anyone discount the huge impact these changes can have on all of us, the same day that his analysis was published by Adotas, Mashable published How Would You Change COPRA and the Wall Street Journal wrote about these proposed changes to the Web Privacy Rules.
“The FTC has clarified that COPPA applies not only to websites, but also to technologies that can be considered “online services.” This includes mobile apps that permit children to play network-connected games, engage in social networking activities, and some text messages. “
Most of the coverage thus far of these proposed changes fails to analyze how they will affect those doing business on the Internet or Internet users. Hopefully in the near future there will be more comprehensive analyses of how those impacts.
“The definition of “personal information” has also been expanded and will almost certainly impact companies’ behavioral advertising activities. “
Special thanks to their Editor Gavin Dunaway for recognizing the importance and publishing Richard’s analysis on how COPRA will affect businesses which I encourage anyone working online to read and understand.
I suspect the way many sites will deal with these requirements is to have users check a box claiming they are over 13 – something that many already do and which can not be verified – at least not easily – which leads me to point out something related but of broader danger to Americans who love freedom and privacy.
The changes proposed by the FTC to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act include a proposal to have parents provide “government-issued ID numbers that the operator can check against a database”.
How many different ways will a national ID system be foisted upon us in the name of the illusion of keeping us or children safe? All of these have been given as reasons we would be safer if we all had to present our papers everywhere we go to do anything and everything in life:
- Prevent another 9-11 incident
- Enhance national security
- Unmask potential terrorists
- Guard against illegal immigrants
- Fight crime and make our neighborhood’s safer
- And now keep our children safe
Nothing could be further from the truth. Multiple bills have been proposed and will continue to be proposed and wording pushing us towards the use of a National ID system for every reason under the sun will continue.
That is why we are continually losing our freedom: because those who want ultimate power have persistence and a long term view AND they are very sneaky about hiding what they want in unrelated legislation. Consider this:
In September of 1996, President Clinton signed into law, the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996. Buried at approximately page 650 of the new national Defense Bill, also known as Public Law 104-208, Part B, Title IV, the American public was given a national ID card. With no fanfare, no publicity and no scrutiny, the bill easily avoided the watchful eyes of even its most aggressive opponents.
I encourage you to read the Electronic Frontier Foundation Organization’s (EFF) official position against a National ID which they call “A Solution in Search of a Problem” and refute each and every one of the so-called reasons we need a National ID system.
There is a growing movement at the state level to oppose a national ID system that I encourage everyone to get behind while we still can. Ask anyone from the UK how many CCTV video cameras monitor their every move (estimated in 2003 at about 4.2 million or 1 for every 14 people) or about their “problem family monitoring“.
I can already hear the simple folk saying, “that’s ok – we should monitor bad people – I’m not a bad parent – that could never happen to our family. WRONG! Who decides? It CAN happen to you and NO ONE should have their privacy invaded like that. The system is worse than the problem!
We must be ever watchful and unless you want to leave the system entirely it is necessary to try to stop these changes. The Intel Forum has a discussion board that includes the status of Real ID Mandatory State Compliance.
Here is just one of many more bills being considered:
Worker Biometric ID Under Consideration in US: Senators Charles Schumer and Lindsey Graham have proposed a new national identity card. The Senators would require that “all U.S. citizens and legal immigrants who want jobs” obtain a “high-tech, fraud-proof Social Security card” with a unique biometric identifier. The card, they say, would not contain private information, medical information, or tracking techniques, and the biometric identifiers would not be stored in a government database.
Notice the clever wording. The CARD won’t contain that information but it WILL link to a database that does, but the database won’t contain the biometric identifiers. So what? Between the two your every move will be tracked and could prevent you from being able to get a job, a loan, insurance, rent an apartment or eventually possibly even make purchases.
There is a good reason people are opposed
to a National ID: privacy makes freedom possible.
How do you get people to agree to what they have fought against for generations? Make them the only “easy” way to do something else so that busy people who aren’t very savvy will automatically go along – like the only easy way to permit your children access to what they want to do online.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
- The FTC is soliciting public comment on the proposed COPPA Rule amendments. Comments will be accepted through November 28, 2011.
- If you have other actions my readers can take leave them in the comments. DO please include relevant links to further information.
WHY PRIVACY MATTERS:
- See all posts on GrowMap about Privacy and Data Mining
- Internet Legislation Proposed to Address Consumer Privacy and Data Security Issues
WHY WE ALREADY HAVE NO PRIVACY:
- Washington Post Top Secret America: Monitoring America
- Front Line Video: Top Secret America
- Why government domestic surveillance on Americans operates outside judicial review
- Thin Thread Computer Program processes data as it is collected
- ‘Stingray’ Phone Tracker
MONITORING PROPOSED or ALREADY IN PLACE:
- Every Step you Take: Austrian Documentary on CCTV use in U.K. surveillance
- No More Privacy: Smart Meters Are Surveillance Devices That Monitor The Behavior In Your Home Every Single Minute Of Every Single Day
- Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) ~New “Smart Meters” for Energy Use Put Privacy at Risk
- Skelton, Taintor & Abbott Wins Landmark Smart Meter Case
- Atlanta Citizens to be filmed everywhere they go
- Australian Police Want Aerial Surveillance Drones to Track License Plates and Monitor Cars of Interest
- Miami Might Have New Spies in the Sky
MORE on FTC COPRA CHANGES:
- Hunton Privacy Blog ~ Computerworld magazine has named Hunton & Williams the top firm for privacy for the third year in a row based on a survey of more than 2,000 corporate privacy professionals. ~ FTC Proposes COPPA Rule Changes
- Truste Blog ~ FTC Proposes COPPA Rule Revisions
- EPIC Report: “REAL ID Implementation Review: Few Benefits, Staggering Costs.”
- Guest post by Richard B. Newman on GrowMap ~ Internet Legislation Proposed to Address Consumer Privacy and Data Security Issues
National Strategy for Trusted Identifies in Cyberspace:
- 2011 Trends: National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace highlights key online privacy, security challenges – NO, we do NOT “need ways to empower citizens to identify themselves online”!
- OReilly Radar: A Manhattan Project for online identity
- Epic.org ~ Internet Anonymity
REAL ID aka BIOMETRIC NATIONAL ID:
- Schumer and Graham on Immigration Reform: Why Not Do it Without the Biometric National ID?
- TG Daily: Immigration Measure is a Sneaky National ID
- Ars Technica: Mandatory e-verify system could threaten jobs and privacy
- FTC Disclosure Rules: What You Need to Do (Dec 2009)
- IMPORTANT: FTC Has New Regulations re Discounts, Freebies, Comps, Gifts, Etc. (Nov 2009)
Intelligent con artists are a serious threat to personal safety and finances. They can obtain almost any kind of information and talk anyone you know into revealing your personal information and even your current location. These links can assist those dealing with stalkers:
- PrivacyRights.org~ Are YOU Being Stalked? ~ According to a January 2009 Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report based on a supplement to the National Crime Victimization Survey, approximately 3.4 million U.S. adults were victims of stalking ~ 14 of every 1,000 adults were victims of stalking.
- Feel Safe Again ~ Director of Training National Center for Victims of Crime ~ Cyberstalking: Dangers on the Information Superhighway
- Reputation.com ~ How to Prevent or Defend Against Online Stalking
- WSJ: Stalkers Exploit Cell Phone GPS