Catholic, Orthodox Churches Support New COPPA Rules

December 20, 2012 By Public Affairs Office

WASHINGTON—The U. S.Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Department of Communications and theGreek Orthodox Archdiocese of America issued the following statement in supportof the Federal Trade Commission's revisions to the Children's Online PrivacyProtection Act (COPPA) that were announced on December 20.

"We applaud the Federal TradeCommission and Chairman Jon Leibowitz for these important steps to keepchildren safe in the ever-evolving digital world," said Helen Osman, Secretaryof Communications for the USCCB. "The Commission is to be especially commendedfor setting guidelines for website operators regarding the release of children'spersonal information to companies and for reasonable procedures for dataretention and deletion."

COPPA was passed by Congress in 1998and is designed to enable parents to decide how and whether Internet companiesand operators can collect and use personal information from children under theage of 13.

"These revisions are greatly neededby the parents and families in our parishes who continue to express to us theirconcerns about keeping their children safe online," said Father Mark Arey, EcumenicalOfficer of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America."In particular, they often speak about theirconcern about collection of their children's personal information (such asphotos, videos and geolocation information) and so we are pleased that the newCOPPA rules address this."

The USCCB and the Greek OrthodoxArchdiocese of America represent over 77 million people in the United States andare committed to a safe Internet environment, especially for children. In thespring of 2013 the USCCB Committee on Communications and the Greek OrthodoxChurch of America will release an online Digital Safety Guide for parents andfaith communities.

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Keywords:Helen Osman, Facebook, U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, GreekOrthodox Archdiocese of America, Internet, Internet Privacy, USCCBCommunications Committee, Religious Alliance Against Pornography

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