FYI: February 2013

Serious Violent Crimes Against Youth Drop


The overall rate of serious violent crime against youth ages 12 to 17 declined 77 percent from 1994 to 2010, falling from 61.9 victimizations per 1,000 youth to 14.0 victimizations per 1,000, according to a report released recently by the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS). Serious violent crimes include rape and other sexual assaults, robbery and aggravated assault.

Among serious violent crimes against youth, the rate of rape and sexual assault declined 68 percent, robbery declined 77 percent and aggravated assault declined 80 percent. Overall, declines in serious violent crime among youth were greater from 1994 to 2002 (down 69 percent) than from 2002 to 2010 (down 27 percent).


                 FTC Strengthens Kids’ Privacy

The Federal Trade Commission adopted final amendments to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection (COPPA) Rule that strengthen kids’ privacy protections and give parents greater control over the personal information that websites and online services may collect from children under 13.

The FTC initiated a review in 2010 to ensure that the COPPA Rule keeps up with evolving technology and changes in the way children use and access the Internet, including the increased use of mobile devices and social networking.  The updates to the COPPA Rule reflect careful consideration of the entire record of the rulemaking process, which included a public roundtable and several rounds of public comments sought by the agency.

“The Commission takes seriously its mandate to protect children’s online privacy in this ever-changing technological landscape,” said FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz.  “I am confident that the amendments to the COPPA Rule strike the right balance between protecting innovation that will provide rich and engaging content for children, and ensuring that parents are informed and involved in their children’s online activities.”

The final amendments:

  • modify the list of “personal information”  that cannot be collected without parental notice and consent, clarifying that this category includes geolocation information, photographs, and videos;
  • offer companies a streamlined, voluntary and transparent approval process for new ways of getting parental consent;
  • close a loophole that allowed kid-directed apps and websites to permit third parties to collect personal information from children through plug-ins without parental notice and consent;
  • extend coverage in some cases so that third parties collecting personal information also have to comply with COPPA;
  • extend the COPPA Rule to cover persistent identifiers that can recognize users over time and across different websites or online services, such as IP addresses and mobile device IDs;
  • strengthen data security protections by requiring that covered website operators and online service providers take reasonable steps to release children’s personal information only to companies that are capable of keeping it secure and confidential;
  • require that covered website operators adopt reasonable procedures for data retention and deletion; and strengthen the FTC’s oversight of self-regulatory safe harbor programs.
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