For today’s kids, wireless devices and services offer significant value and benefit in education, health care, commerce and social interactions. The inherent value that wireless now offers has flourished under a light regulatory touch that allows new products and services to be made available without unnecessary government intervention. For these reasons, one of the leading nonprofit organizations focused on online child safety, the Family Online Safety Institute, recently stated that the U.S. has been a major pioneer in both Internet technology and online safety.
At the federal level, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission has established rules under the Child Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) to restrict companies from knowingly collecting personal information from children under 13 online without parental consent. The Federal Communications Commission requires schools that receive federal funds to offer technology to create online safety plans and place filtering software on computers that are used by children. Federal law also requires any provider of an electronic communication service or remote computing service with knowledge of any violation of certain sexual exploitation and child pornography laws to report those facts to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children CyberTip Line.
At the state and local government levels, there are a number of laws and policy initiatives enacted so kids are appropriately and safely using wireless.
- School boards and teachers recognize the potential of wireless to revolutionize and improve education, which is why they are working to integrate wireless into the classroom.
- State Attorneys General have focused on enforcing federal and state consumer protection laws and working collaboratively with industry to address online safety issues.
- State legislators have passed or are considering passage of laws to address cyberbullying, cyberstalking/harassment and sexting.
Similar to the continued evolution of the Internet, experts from the National Telecommunications & Internet Administration’s Online Safety & Technology Working Group recognized that there is “no one-size-fits-all, once-and-for-all solution to providing children with every aspect of online child safety. Rather, it takes a comprehensive ‘toolbox’ from which parents, educators, and other safety providers can choose tools appropriate to children’s developmental stages and life circumstances, as they grow.”
CTIA and its members have stayed ahead of the curve by voluntarily addressing online safety and consumer protection. Learn more about CTIA’s voluntary consumer initiatives.