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A Trail of Clicks, Culminating In Conflict 65

NotSanguine writes "Technology companies are up in arms about the FTC's pending rules change which would require explicit parental permission to allow websites to gather a wide range of data on children 13 and under. From the NYT Article: '"If adopted, the effect of these new rules would be to slow the deployment of applications that provide tremendous benefits to children, and to slow the economic growth and job creation generated by the app economy," Catherine A. Novelli, vice president of worldwide government affairs at Apple, wrote in comments to the agency (PDF).' But would that be a bad thing? As reported in the Times last week, Matt Richtel writes, 'There is a widespread belief among teachers that students' constant use of digital technology is hampering their attention spans and ability to persevere in the face of challenging tasks, according to two surveys of teachers being released on Thursday.' So, will the new FTC rules end up helping children (by enhancing their privacy and, if industry pundits are right, reducing the amount of content available online for children — thus enhancing their attention spans), or will the negative effects on corporations have as deleterious an effect on the economy as to measurably reduce the quality of education?"
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A Trail of Clicks, Culminating In Conflict

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  • by Jeremiah Cornelius ( 137 ) on Tuesday November 06, 2012 @06:57PM (#41900915) Homepage Journal

    Now I KNOW the objection is spurious.

  • by Jailbrekr ( 73837 ) <> on Tuesday November 06, 2012 @07:00PM (#41900945) Homepage

    Damn rights you need my explicit permission to gather data on my children, and if you object to this, then you are not only the problem you are a parasite who is in need of extermination.

    Stay away from my children you greedy soul-less fucks.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 06, 2012 @07:06PM (#41901011)

    Why stop at the children? I think EVERYBODY ought to have this right. At least if it's enforced for children we can all sign up as 8-year-olds, and experience a little privacy on the net for a change.

  • In other words (Score:1, Insightful)

    by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Tuesday November 06, 2012 @07:09PM (#41901037)

    There is a widespread belief among teachers that students' constant use of digital technology is hampering their attention spans

    Teachers have this lawn, see? And they would very much like you to get off of it.

    Stop trying to ban things and learn to work with what kids have natural interests in.

  • by thesupraman ( 179040 ) on Tuesday November 06, 2012 @07:10PM (#41901041)

    I wonder if these are the same teachers that insist kids need laptops, or even better ipads
    (and of course a generous number of those to be given to the teachers, their friends, etc)
    to that they can 'teach them'..

    I would agree technology is an issue, especially for younger children - the teachers in general
    are not exactly fighting against it in general. All our local schools now REQUIRE laptops
    for children who are quite honestly too young for them, and one is now REQUIRING ipads
    unless a child has 'special dispensation', what a load of BS.

    There are still some great teachers, they are just a rapidly dwindling minority, being replaced
    by the hoards who just want their job to be made easier and easier, while having more and more
    say in the social/moral/health/etc areas of the kids upbringings.

    I know its a rant, but a very true one - parents these days are pretty much assumed to not have
    their own kids best interests in mind, meanwhile the average abilities of kids leaving (especially
    younger levels of..) schools is dropping, what a surprise.

    IMHO being a responsible parent has gained a new requirement - fighting the BS educator and
    political attacks on parents and children, to keep at least a hint of freedom of thought for the next
    generation. Its a sad day.

  • Widespread belief (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Tuesday November 06, 2012 @07:10PM (#41901043) Journal

    Sure, there's a widespread belief, but is there data? Show me data that exposure to technology is negatively correlated with attention spans, then it might be worth doing something about it. Until then, it's just speculation.

    Many things that are widely believed are not true. It's widely believed that the streets are more dangerous today than when we were kids. But crime rates are at a 30 year low, and juvenile crime is at all time lows. Widespread belief is NEVER justification to do ANYTHING except collect data.

  • by sjames ( 1099 ) on Tuesday November 06, 2012 @07:47PM (#41901373) Homepage Journal

    Since the additional programming to accommodate the requirements would add jobs, that must not be it.

    So it means that they don't want to provide content for children at all unless they are allowed to exploit them in ways they feel sure the parents won't approve of.

    That sounds a bit creepy, really.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 06, 2012 @08:23PM (#41901769)

    Q: What should we always say when a politician attempts to pass a new law and says the magic words: "for the children"?
    A: "Hell NO!"
    This new wonderful panacea law designed to make children happy and healthy will have an effect of the rest of us. Now every website will by law be required to collect your date of birth. You will probably be forced to answer truthfully under penalty of perjury and go to jail. This information will be stored on the companies database that will be shared with all sorts of marketing agencies, and the occasional hackers.
    Children will, of course, be able answer whatever they want since they are too young to be charged.

    Is this really a system you want? It's what you're going to get.

  • Stay away from my children you greedy soul-less fucks.

    Your child needs to stop clicking the "yes I am over 13" button on my game's web forums... You know, because unless we do some SERIOUS fucking data gathering by some "trusted" 3rd party, I won't be able to tell if your kid is lying or not.

    If you ever actually hear what your kids say when you're not around, then you'd be calling them the soul-less fucks.

"This is lemma 1.1. We start a new chapter so the numbers all go back to one." -- Prof. Seager, C&O 351