Cyberangels watch over kids online

The Child Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), which regulates how commercial

sites can interact with young surfers, is almost impossible for the Federal

Trade Commission to enforce alone. To help out, a citizens' group called

Cyberangels is taking a systematic look at sites that collect information

about children and blowing the whistle on those that do not comply.

The new legislation, in effect since April, prohibits sites from collecting

information from minors without their parents' consent. Critics argue that

it is a logistical nightmare and will be impossible to administer.

"Those who are waiting for the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to take action

won't have to wait long," said Parry Aftab, who heads Cyberangels. A test

case will not only put certain sites out of business but will motivate others

to follow the proscribed guidelines, Aftab predicted. "They are going to

start coming up with some enforcement actions, and it will happen all at

once."

If a site is found to be noncompliant, it will essentially be put out of

business, as parents will take their kids somewhere else, Aftab said. Literally

thousands of sites are in this category, which gives parents a choice but

makes Cyberangels' task a daunting one.

The organization trains its volunteers — 5,000 so far — to review Web sites.

The Cyberangels judge a site's compliance or lack thereof, and enter information

into a database that is sent on to the FTC.

"There are certain sites that aren't going to pay attention — they will

always skirt the law," Aftab said. "Then, some others will eagerly comply

because it will be good for their business. But we are most interested in

those who are not in compliance and don't care."

The Fed 100

Read the profiles of all this year's winners.

Featured

  • Then-presidential candidate Donald Trump at a 2016 campaign event. Image: Shutterstock

    'Buy American' order puts procurement in the spotlight

    Some IT contractors are worried that the "buy American" executive order from President Trump could squeeze key innovators out of the market.

  • OMB chief Mick Mulvaney, shown here in as a member of Congress in 2013. (Photo credit Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

    White House taps old policies for new government makeover

    New guidance from OMB advises agencies to use shared services, GWACs and federal schedules for acquisition, and to leverage IT wherever possible in restructuring plans.

  • Shutterstock image (by Everett Historical): aerial of the Pentagon.

    What DOD's next CIO will have to deal with

    It could be months before the Defense Department has a new CIO, and he or she will face a host of organizational and operational challenges from Day One

  • USAF Gen. John Hyten

    General: Cyber Command needs new platform before NSA split

    U.S. Cyber Command should be elevated to a full combatant command as soon as possible, the head of Strategic Command told Congress, but it cannot be separated from the NSA until it has its own cyber platform.

  • Image from Shutterstock.

    DLA goes virtual

    The Defense Logistics Agency is in the midst of an ambitious campaign to eliminate its IT infrastructure and transition to using exclusively shared, hosted and virtual services.

  • Fed 100 logo

    The 2017 Federal 100

    The women and men who make up this year's Fed 100 are proof positive of what one person can make possibile in federal IT. Read on to learn more about each and every winner's accomplishments.

Reader comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group