No doubt, there are a lot of talented kids out there. Aspiring young actors, singers, dancers, models and other artists often network to find auditions, casting calls and other professional opportunities. Online talent search companies often advertise that they can help make dreams come true. These companies may ask for information about budding artists, including names, postal and email addresses and phone numbers.
In their eagerness and excitement, children may think it’s okay to share information about themselves online — especially if it means getting a gig they really want. As a parent, you know better. You have control over the personal information companies collect online from your kids under 13. This includes your child’s name, address, phone number, email address, and, in some instances, information the companies can use to track your child’s online activities. The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) gives you tools to do that. If a site or service is covered by COPPA, it has to get your permission before collecting personal information from your child and it has to honor your choices.
The proposed federal court order would stop these business practices and would also bar the defendants from engaging in other practices that have caused injury to consumers.
If you think a site has collected information from your kids or marketed to them in a way that violates the law, report it to the FTC. Need help talking to your kids about online safety? Check out Net Cetera: Chatting with Kids About Being Online as the basis for the conversation.