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FTC Issues Fine to Sony

http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/2008/12/sony-dinged-1-m.html

The key phrase to pay attention to in this article is that Sony knowingly broke the law.

“The lawsuit alleges that, since 2004, at least 30,000 children under 13 had registered on Sony’s music websites, and that Sony had “actual knowledge” that it was breaching the law.”

I was on a panel in April at the ‘Kid’s Regulatory Watch’ conference in Wash. D.C. with Phyllis Marcus from the FTC; the person whose team is responsible for enforcing COPPA. We addressed a ton of lawyers (many of
whom are VPs of Community, Content etc. at major corporations, btw) about COPPA and how the law works, the problems with the law, what kids do online, etc. She made it very clear at the conference that “actual
knowledge” was the key phrase that creates problems for companies. They are not on a witch hunt. In fact, they’re quite helpful, I’ve found. I pick up the phone and within 24 hours I get a clear, concise, accountable response.

The US Govt. (its legislators) are looking into requiring credit cards as a way to prove parental consent, btw. I’m still old school on all of this and think parents should be responsible for their kids behavior online and offline. I’m slowly coming around to facing the fact that many parents just aren’t going to take that responsibility. The “it takes a village” concept is prevailing. It’s going to take an e-mint village to get me to shut up about the parent thing, I’m sure 😀

— Rebecca Newton, Metaverse Mod Squad Advisory Board

www.rebeccanewton.com

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