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Voices applauds the decision of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to uphold the July 1 implementation date for the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). Adopted last December, the updated privacy regulations restrict the collection of information from children under the age of 13; expand protections to include games, apps, and ad networks; and broaden the definition of personal information to include photos, videos, and GPS data commonly used to pinpoint and add locations to users’ posts.
A recent Washington Post article highlights an upward trend in teen usage of social media sites like Instagram and Facebook. Many of these sites have policies denying use to those under the age of 13 and channels dedicated to reporting underage use. However, millions of pre-teens have circumvented the rule and many parents are not aware of the age restrictions. Currently, about 7.5 million children visit social media sites and obtain accounts by falsifying their birthdates.
Click here to learn more about protecting children’s privacy online.
Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) proposed a new regulation, which would establish national baseline standards for health and safety requirements for federally funded child care providers. Under the new rule, states would be required to bring their standards into compliance with the national baseline, but retain the flexibility to pursue measures above and beyond that. The new regulation would apply to more than 500,000 child care providers who receive funding from the Child Care and Development Fund, and impact the 1.6 million low-income children they serve.
According to HHS, the regulation includes basic safety requirements that many parents assume are already in places, such as health and safety trainings; compliance with fire, health, and building codes; comprehensive background checks; on-site monitoring; and relevant information sharing through user-friendly website. Existing standards and their enforcement vary a great deal from state to state, leaving many children vulnerable.
HHS is now requesting feedback on the proposed rule, which will be available to view and provide comment for the next 75 days. Voices looks forward to a more thorough review of the proposed regulation.
Voices congratulates DC Action for Children on its two nominations highlighting its DC KIDS COUNT Data Tools, an innovative approach to data presentation that transforms static lists into interactive graphics and easy to use tools. The e-databook was created and built to help community members, including parents, understand child and youth wellbeing in Washington DC. The tools provide timely, accurate and easily accessible data of child and family outcomes, assets and opportunities at the neighborhood level.
DC Action was selected as a featured finisher from among more than 1,000 nominees for the Rockefeller Foundation’s Next Century Innovators Award, earning them a spot among the top 100 most innovative Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) in the world. The organization was also included among the eight finalists for the Global Editors Network’s 2013 Data Journalism Award for Storytelling with data, which will be awarded in Paris on June 20, 2013.
According to DC Action for Children’s Executive Director Hye Sook Chung, both nominations came with a certain degree of shock and much enthusiasm. “Recognition for being innovative and pushing for new ways of working is such an honor,” Chung said. “We have all worked so hard to push out the programmatic work.”
Since the roll-out last October, the e-databook has illuminated socioeconomic disparities at the neighborhood level, while maps and other tools have been accessed more than 1,500 times by users.
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