As technology and the internet continue to make advancements and are more commonly available to children in school classrooms and public libraries for educational purposes, the need to protect and monitor our children online has also advanced. Congress has continued to pass such laws as COPPA, CIPA, SOX, and FERPA as an attempt to filter obscene and violent content while protecting children’s personally identifiable information. The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) of 1998, 5 U.S.C. 6501-6505 imposes certain restrictions and requirements on operators of websites or any online services directed to children under 13 years old without the parents’ consent. The Children’s Internet Protection Act CIPA was enacted by congress in 2000 to formally address any concerns about children’s access to obscene or harmful content on the internet. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) was passed by Congress on July 30, 2002; it was designed to oversee the financial reporting and auditing for financial professionals and pursues legislative auditing requirements to improve accuracy and reliability of corporate disclosures.
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) is a federal law that is administered by the Family Policy Compliance Office in the US Department of Education and was designed to give parents certain rights with respect to children’s educational records. These rights transfer to the student when he or she reaches the age of 18 or attends a school beyond the high school level. As the need continues to grow for more protection of our children on the internet, the need for ongoing monitoring and auditing programs continues to grow with it. Content filtering and the protection of personally identifiable information of our children are only the first steps in protecting our children on the internet.