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 Post subject: Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998
PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2016 2:15 am 
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Just as a matter of record, would it be possible to have a statement from the site owners as to how they are tackling their responsibilities under this act? There appear to me several minors using these forums nowadays who would fall under the scope of this act. I think it would be useful to know exactly what their position is.


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 Post subject: Re: Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998
PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2016 8:51 am 
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I don't know why is it some people concern...

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 Post subject: Re: Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998
PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2016 9:31 am 
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It's a concern because of the legal implications.


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 Post subject: Re: Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998
PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2016 10:53 am 
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Lukand wrote:
I don't know why is it some people concern...


There are ten thousand members of this site (minus duplicates and the departed), but the chance of there being no paedophiles amongst them is next to zero. We don't see what goes on in PMs behind the scene, so how do we know there isn't any grooming going on where a child has been identified by a predator? The odds are against anything like that happening on a site like this, but it's far from impossible that pictures of "cates" are being exchanged in PMs in an attempt to build up an inappropriate friendship. Anyone who has been identified as being under 13 should be banned until they turn 13, or at the very least have their ability to use PMs blocked until that time so that nothing untoward can go unseen.

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 Post subject: Re: Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998
PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2016 11:01 am 
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I'd say that there are also social reasons as to why under-13s shouldn't be allowed to use the site. Apart from the childish posts that we are now becoming used to, it can be kind of inhibiting when replying to posts by a child. I don't like anything that inhibits the free exchange of ideas here.

But I'd agree that the big concern is the risk of abuse of minors.


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 Post subject: Re: Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998
PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2016 2:47 pm 
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iansjack wrote:
I'd say that there are also social reasons as to why under-13s shouldn't be allowed to use the site. Apart from the childish posts that we are now becoming used to, it can be kind of inhibiting when replying to posts by a child. I don't like anything that inhibits the free exchange of ideas here.

But I'd agree that the big concern is the risk of abuse of minors.


I agree. I have no issue with young (I say that being 24) people/teens posting here, assuming that they can post in a mature manner. There are several people on the board who you can obviously tell are <13 just by their posts, and it lowers the level of discourse of the entire site. Furthermore, you have these same people posting "information" that is incorrect, or just poorly implemented.

I started coming to this board way back in 2007, when I was 15 - and I was certainly not the most mature or informed member here. So I can empathize with the young'ins. However, there is really no reason for 9, 10, 11 year olds to be posting on an internet forum.

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 Post subject: Re: Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998
PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2016 11:03 pm 
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Hi,

I am not a lawyer, not the site owner, and not in America. However, as far as I can tell this site is not directed at children and only collects a small amount of information (e.g. email address and IP addresses) to "protect the security or integrity of your site or service"; and therefore is exempt from COPPA compliance.

In addition; as far as I can tell the entire "COPPA issue" was raised not out of concern for any child's welfare, but purely as a way to discriminate against a small number of individuals. I would remind people that as far as I know it is illegal (in many countries) to discriminate against someone because of their age (e.g. banning people for no reason other than their age).


Cheers,

Brendan

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 Post subject: Re: Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998
PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2016 11:39 pm 
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Brendan wrote:
In addition; as far as I can tell the entire "COPPA issue" was raised not out of concern for any child's welfare, but purely as a way to discriminate against a small number of individuals. I would remind people that as far as I know it is illegal (in many countries) to discriminate against someone because of their age (e.g. banning people for no reason other than their age).


While in general it is illegal to discriminate based on age, this is not the case in the US wrt internet activities. Many (most?) forums/websites disallow minors under the age of 13 from using their services completely and actively ban those under 13 so that they remain COPPA compliant. It's hardly discriminatory.

Sites run overseas are NOT exempt. The types of personal information include:
Code:
First and last name;
A home or other physical address including street name and name of a city or town;
Online contact information;
A screen or user name that functions as online contact information;
A telephone number;
A social security number;
A persistent identifier that can be used to recognize a user over time and across different websites or online services;
A photograph, video, or audio file, where such file contains a child’s image or voice;
Geolocation information sufficient to identify street name and name of a city or town; or
Information concerning the child or the parents of that child that the operator collects online from the child and combines with an identifier described above.


Obviously this is not a site directed towards children, and should be exempt, but since you have children here who are advertising the fact that they are children, it may be an issue. I am not a lawyer

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 Post subject: Re: Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998
PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2016 12:00 am 
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Hi,

crunch wrote:
Obviously this is not a site directed towards children, and should be exempt, but since you have children here who are advertising the fact that they are children, it may be an issue. I am not a lawyer


Do we have people advertising the fact that they are children, or do we have an 18 year-old (with their year of birth in their nickname) pretending to be younger because they got sick being hassled (e.g. potentially due to not having a huge amount of low-level experience) by whiny trolls?


Cheers,

Brendan

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 Post subject: Re: Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998
PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2016 1:22 am 
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1. My OP was not directed against an individual. There are a number of posters who claim to be minors.

2. Banning them is not necessary; parental consent is all that is required.

3. The law "discriminates" about minors in many places. It is for their protection.

4. I take your point that these "minors" may just be posters misrepresenting their age for some reason. In that case I am happy to treat them as adults; hopefully we'll have no more whining when poor code is criticised.

5. As long as the site owners are aware of the situation and are confident that they comply with all applicable laws that's fine by me.

6. The continuing interest and usefulness of this site is a separate issue.


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 Post subject: Re: Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998
PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2016 7:29 am 
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Hi,

iansjack wrote:
2. Banning them is not necessary; parental consent is all that is required.


To be honest; for me personally (NOT speaking as a moderator):
  • I don't even think it's possible to determine if you have/haven't got parental consent (e.g. as opposed the consent of an older sibling who had a credit card number and pretended to be a parent for the sake of getting past idiotic bureaucracy)
  • If there are (e.g.) child molesters on this forum, I have no problem banning child molesters and think that's far more appropriate than punishing "people suspected of being innocent children".
  • If a parent wants to complain; I'd want proof that they are the child's parent in the form of an official government statement saying that the parent has admitted to child neglect (failing to provide adequate supervision of that child's Internet usage). :roll:


Cheers,

Brendan

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 Post subject: Re: Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998
PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2016 8:51 am 
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Brendan wrote:
Hi, I am not a lawyer, not the site owner, and not in America. However, as far as I can tell this site is not directed at children and only collects a small amount of information (e.g. email address and IP addresses) to "protect the security or integrity of your site or service"; and therefore is exempt from COPPA compliance.
Cheers,

Brendan


By reading that law, you could see that all websites hosted in America must follow COPPA.
Also, if website allows American people to access this forum, that website will have to follow COPPA too.

Quote:
The odds are against anything like that happening on a site like this, but it's far from impossible that pictures of "cates" are being exchanged in PMs in an attempt to build up an inappropriate friendship


No one is going to create friendship there. Check the sentence aligned in the top of every page of this website, you may notice that this is not Facebook.

Offtopic: Are moderators able to read every PM and change every user settings?

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 Post subject: Re: Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998
PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2016 9:13 am 
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Brendan wrote:
Hi,
To be honest; for me personally (NOT speaking as a moderator):
  • I don't even think it's possible to determine if you have/haven't got parental consent (e.g. as opposed the consent of an older sibling who had a credit card number and pretended to be a parent for the sake of getting past idiotic bureaucracy)
  • If there are (e.g.) child molesters on this forum, I have no problem banning child molesters and think that's far more appropriate than punishing "people suspected of being innocent children".
  • If a parent wants to complain; I'd want proof that they are the child's parent in the form of an official government statement saying that the parent has admitted to child neglect (failing to provide adequate supervision of that child's Internet usage). :roll:


Cheers,

Brendan

Good luck putting those arguments to a judge should it ever come to that.

About as convincing as "I would remind people that as far as I know it is illegal (in many countries) to discriminate against someone because of their age". Try telling the judge that it was OK to have consensual sexual relations with a 9-year old as it was illegal to discriminate against them because of their age. Just keep your back against the wall for the next 15 years.


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 Post subject: Re: Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998
PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2016 10:37 am 
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Lukand wrote:
Quote:
The odds are against anything like that happening on a site like this, but it's far from impossible that pictures of "cates" are being exchanged in PMs in an attempt to build up an inappropriate friendship


No one is going to create friendship there. Check the sentence aligned in the top of every page of this website, you may notice that this is not Facebook.


You don't understand how such people operate or how good they are at hiding what they do, the expertise they have in getting what they want and the lengths they'll go to to get access to a child - if they see an opportunity in a place where it isn't expected, that's makes it all the more tempting for them. And they could pose as a child too, which is why any children who join should not be open about their age. The law wasn't made to spoil things for children, but to help keep them safe, and any child capable of doing OS development work should be more than able to hide their age. This site should not be allowed to become a playground for children.

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 Post subject: Re: Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998
PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2016 10:54 am 
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At this point, all that is needed is a statement from the administrators that this is either not any issue, or that it is being addressed. It really isn't our concern, but theirs. I mentioned it originally because I had the impression that the mods weren't aware of the ages of some members, and of the legal concerns regarding that (I get the impression that the FAQ page in question is added by PHPBB automatically unless expressly disabled, and I am not sure if the admins themselves ever read it or even noticed it).

All that is needed is a statement of policy. I am willing to take Brendan's current statements here as one, provided that none of the other mods or admins voice an objection.

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