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 Post subject: Re: Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998
PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2016 11:22 am 
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when poor code is criticised

1. So, 13+ are unable to create poor code, right? Only 13- create it?
2. Don't forget that there are adults which act and behave as 8 year olds (but they are very rare).
3. You seem to be constantly referring and so benefiting to my quickly wrotten argument parsing code. I appreciate that you try to help me & correct me on my posts and threads, but why do you keep spreading it?

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 Post subject: Re: Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998
PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2016 11:38 am 
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That was a very small part of my reasoning (almost a throwaway comment). I guess it keeps coming up because people keep trying to defend this poor code. (My only criticism of it was to remark that filling 60 elements of a buffer of unknown size was likely to lead to problems. Why all the fuss about a simple, valid comment?)

Rest assured that I would make similar criticism of code posted by a 30-year old if warranted. But I suspect that they would just acknowledge the problem; it's a question of maturity. I think your constantly bringing up the criticism rather proves my point - you aren't mature enough to accept it.

But this is nothing at all to do with the legal responsibilities of web-site owners and the potential for abuse of minors.


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 Post subject: Re: Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998
PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2016 7:41 pm 
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Hi,

Lukand wrote:
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.


By reading that law, you could see that all websites hosted in America must follow COPPA.


By reading the law, you would see that there are exceptions for some web sites. For the simplest possible example, if your web-site is "static pages only" (with no user login or anything) then it's impossible for children to provide any private information and the web site would be exempt (and wouldn't need any parental notice or anything).

By reading my earlier post, you would see that I think this web site would qualify as "exempt from COPPA" (and why).

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


No.


Cheers,

Brendan

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 Post subject: Re: Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998
PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2016 7:45 pm 
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Hi,

iansjack wrote:
Brendan wrote:
To be honest; for me personally (NOT speaking as a moderator):

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


I'm only saying that, in my personal opinion, COPPA is extremely stupid (e.g. I don't see why web sites should have to deal with additional hassles purely for the sake of parents/guardians that fail to adequately supervise children they are responsible for).


Cheers,

Brendan

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 Post subject: Re: Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998
PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2016 1:32 am 
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So the argument has changed from "kids shouldn't be controlled" (because that's age discrimination) to "kids are difficult to control".

Ain't that the truth, as any parent will tell you. But since when have OS developers not tried to do something just because it was difficult?

It's even more difficult to believe that any parent would be happy to let their 9-year old frequent a web site where 11-year olds casually throw around obscenities.


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 Post subject: Re: Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998
PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2016 7:40 am 
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Please don't make revolutions there...

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 Post subject: Re: Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998
PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2016 7:41 am 
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I spent some time going over the FTC's FAQ on COPPA the other day, and this is what I found:

first of all, COPPA is not targeted at protecting children from online predators at all, the law is specifically aimed at advertising (preventing advertisers from obtaining demographic or personal information for marketing purposes)

DO NOTE: this site does collect information that would be a violation of COPPA, this includes: username (COPPA forbids collecting usernames from children without informing the parents directly), e-mail address (COPPA forbids collecting any information that can be used to contact them online without permission from the parent), IP address (COPPA forbids collecting of IP addresses from a child under 13 without specific permission from the parents), and allows voluntary submission of other forms of contact (COPPA forbids any site from allowing even voluntary submission of such things without parents permission), and allows the child to upload pictures for use as avatars (this cannot be done unless either the pictures are carefully screened before they are accepted to ensure they do not contain a picture of the child, or parents consent each time a picture is submitted), this site also stores cookies on the users computer (COPPA forbids storing cookies on the users computer without permission from the parent), and the user control panel also allows submission of other identifying information such as: age, gender, country of residence, etc. all of these require the site to get permission from the parent before storing on the server (note this has nothing at all to do with whether or not the information is available to other users, and everything to do with whether it is stored on the server for potential use in demographic profiling, or targeted advertising)

it does not expect sites to ensure children have parental permission to access the site, rather instead it requires the site to inform the parents directly each time a child submits any information that might be personal in nature (note the law specifically includes the users IP address as "personal information" -- if the server records the users IP address, then it must ask the parents permission, not once, but each time the server records it)

COPPA law does not apply only to sites targeting children (although the FAQ does imply that this site would be considered "aimed at children" because some of the users have cartoon avatars), but it does specifically apply to commercial sites, and specifically exempts non-profit sites (in most cases)

while this site is not a registered non-profit, since this site is privately owned, does not use advertising, does not promote any commercial products or services, and does not share user information with 3rd parties, we should be exempt from complience

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 Post subject: Re: Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998
PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2016 8:17 am 
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Thanks for that clarification.

I'm still unhappy with 11-year olds posting obscenities (removed eventually), but that's a different issue. I'm unhappy with anyone posting obscenities on sites accessible to children, but somehow it bothers me more when it's the children doing it. In this modern word that is, I realize, my problem alone.

Edit: Loath though I am to persist the discussion, I drw yout attention to this part of the COPPA FAQ:
Quote:
2. Who is covered by COPPA?
The Rule applies to operators of commercial websites and online services (including mobile apps) directed to children under 13 that collect, use, or disclose personal information from children. It also applies to operators of general audience websites or online services with actual knowledge that they are collecting, using, or disclosing personal information from children under 13.


(My bold)


Last edited by iansjack on Thu Nov 03, 2016 8:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998
PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2016 8:25 am 
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iansjack wrote:
Thanks for that clarification.

I'm still unhappy with 11-year olds posting obscenities (removed eventually), but that's a different issue. I'm unhappy with anyone posting obscenities on sites accessible to children, but somehow it bothers me more when it's the children doing it. In this modern word that is, I realize, my problem alone.


have to agree myself as well (I don't like going where such language is used myself, much less children...)

however you will usually find that it is actually those children who are using that kind of language (where older people are mature enough to not use it, but children think it makes them feel older)



just because (in my personal, I'm-Not-A-Lawyer opinion) we should be exempt from this law, doesn't mean I would like to test that theory though...

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 Post subject: Re: Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998
PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2016 8:28 am 
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You might like to note my edit to my previous post, just as information.


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 Post subject: Re: Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998
PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2016 8:44 am 
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iansjack wrote:
You might like to note my edit to my previous post, just as information.


I saw that, yes, but I don't think that changes my analysis:

the first part of that (the non-bold) talks about commercial sites targeting children, the bold part states that general audience (that is, not targeting children specifically) are also included (but is still talking about commercial sites, not personal property)

I originally wrote in my post that it does not apply only to sites targeting children, but perhaps I deleted that part before posting

basically that means this law would apply to forums on amazon's website (obviously not targeting children, but rather the general population) or forums on runescape and WOW websites (both are mature games and forbid children)


but I believe the purpose stated in that FAQ, combined with the fact that it specifically exempts sites that don't fall into that catagory (such as non-profit sites), the same would apply to us (not that I would like to test that theory, and I do think we should probably do something... though I am hesitant to discourage those who are here regardless of age...)

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 Post subject: Re: Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998
PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2016 8:21 pm 
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In addition, phpBB registration explicitly asks the user to confirm if they are over 13. That of course does not stop any of them, but it does mean that for all practical purposes we can assume everyone is.

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 Post subject: Re: Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998
PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2016 4:08 am 
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Combuster wrote:
In addition, phpBB registration explicitly asks the user to confirm if they are over 13. That of course does not stop any of them, but it does mean that for all practical purposes we can assume everyone is.


As said above, this is a configurable option and is not applied to this site (nor to my own chess site, which is UK based and where (though some Americans seem to find this concept difficult) the writ of the US runneth not).


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 Post subject: Re: Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998
PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2016 5:28 am 
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Combuster wrote:
In addition, phpBB registration explicitly asks the user to confirm if they are over 13. That of course does not stop any of them, but it does mean that for all practical purposes we can assume everyone is.
When posters openly state that they are under 13 I'm not convinced that you can assume for any purposes, practical or theoretical, that they are in fact over 13.


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 Post subject: Re: Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998
PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2016 12:23 pm 
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As I said, I gather that the admins simply weren't aware of (or discounted the importance of) both the "I am thirteen or older" checkbox and the FAQ with the COPPA statement being set to on by default.

I feel that the admins should put this to a vote amongst themselves (and possibly the moderators as well) whether a) they need to be concerned about this (and disable the checkbox and FAQ if it isn't) and b) what to do about the current members who would be affected if it is.

However, the only listed Admins are Chase, who hasn't been on the site in almost a year, and whoever it is that holds the actual "Admin" account (which was last accessed in July). So, just who has admin powers here may need to be sorted out first.

I haven't taken the time to check, but I am assuming that the site is currently hosted in the US, or this discussion is pointless (as the checkbox and FAQ would carry no legal weight and should just be removed).

While I personally find the law to be too vague, broad-spectrum, and overreaching, the existence of the law - and its applicability to sites hosted on US soil, regardless of jurisdiction over the members themselves - is not something we can do anything about at this time (whether some of the US members would be willing to mount a repeal effort is an unrelated issue at this stage, as anything like that would take years to succeed, if at all). What the US government can do about US members under thirteen going to a site in a different jurisdiction, and how it would affect the site, is more debatable, but not really worth risking IMAO.

The easiest solution, to me, seems to be to simply remove the checkbox and the COPPA-related FAQs, and consider if it would be feasible to re-host with a service outside of the US. It would not be a real solution, as the US government could decide to DNS block the site if it came down to it, but the risk of that - or any of the other possible legal actions - is remote.

I only really mentioned it in the first place because it was the stated policy of the site (more on this below). If that policy wasn't deliberately set by the admins - as I now think may be the case - then it changes everything about this debate. Once a statement of policy is made (and as I said, I am willing to accept Brendan's statements as such unless the admins issue something more definitive) then we can let this issue go.

And yes, one of the things that started all of this was that I and several others were getting irritated with NunoLava1998. I was hitting him with the COPPA stuff not because I thought it would actually get rid of him, but because I was tired of him trolling us with the patently false claim that he is 9, among other things, and wanted to give him a wake-up call about how close to the line he was walking. I had no idea that anyone actually under 13 was here when I brought it up in that thread. I don't so much want to get rid of him as to get him to stop acting like a jerk (assuming that he was here for something more than just trolling in the first place). I've seen a few larvals behave this way here before even back in the Mega-Tokyo days, and elsewhere going back to my days on FidoNet, and usually the ones who have a real interest in the subject eventually get their heads on straight after some grandmotherly kindness (AKA a whack or two with a cluebat) from the regulars.

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