Kids Privacy Quick Tips for Parents
What You Really Need Know
Q. Who is in control of my young child's personal information online?
A. You, as a parent, are in control of your young child's personal information! Commercial Web sites must get your permission before they collect, use or disclose personal information from your children.
Q. How will I know if a Web site is collecting personal information from my child under 13 years old?
A. Before a Web site collects your young child's name, address, phone number, email address, etc, you must know about it. That's because Web sites that collect personal information from children online must make reasonable efforts to inform or give notice to parents, and get their permission. These notices are very important as they will provide you with most of the information you need to control how your child's information is used and whether it is disclosed to others. There are several ways a Web site may provide you with notice that they wish to collect that information:
- Postal mail,
- Email, or
- A print out of an online form that is given to you by your child.
You should also be notified if Web sites want to use information or disclose it to others. They must get your consent or permission to collect that information.
Q. How will they notify me?
A. Web sites will try to email you to seek your permission. If your child tries to provide information about him or herself, the site will ask her for your contact information and use that information to seek your permission.
Q. How do I prove/verify that I am my child's parent?
A. Web sites will ask you to verify that you are the parent in several possible ways. Some will ask that you call a toll-free phone number and speak with a trained operator who will verify that you are the parent. Some sites will ask you to send a note via postal mail or via fax. The Web site may also seek credit card information to prove that you are the parent.
Q. How do I know if a Web site will respect my child's privacy?