Adam Thierer on children’s privacy online

August 23, 2011

Adam Thierer, Senior Research Fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University in the Technology Policy Program, discusses his new paper, Kids, Privacy, Free Speech & the Internet: Finding the Right Balance. For kids, using the Internet has become second nature, but sites that track a child’s online activity can raise privacy concerns. A number of well-intentioned lawmakers are introducing regulatory measures that aim to expand the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). Thierer discusses the unintended consequences that could result from regulations, like mandatory age verification and an Internet “eraser button.” He proposes an alternative to regulation, which includes education and empowerment, placing importance on personal and parental responsibility.



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