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[ NNSquad ] Addendum re Google Blogger Shutdown Issues / Speculation re COPPA

Addendum re Google Blogger Shutdown Issues / Speculation re COPPA

In reference to the Blogger shutdown warnings noted in "Tracking
Google's New 'Short Fuse' Blogger Shutdown Policy" ( http://j.mp/17sMCrl ),
it has been suggested (and it occurred to me as well) that the timing
of this sudden policy change by Google somehow relates to the new 
COPPA (Children's Online Privacy Protection Act) regulations coming
into force on 1 July (Monday).


Maybe.  COPPA's primary focus in on collection of personal information
(broadly defined, even including cookies, IP addresses, and processor
or device serial numbers) from "child-directed" websites (not
primarily sites that are not oriented toward children).  And while the
new COPPA regs do expand site owner responsibility to include any
associated ad network practices, there is no direct connection between
all this and adult advertising/adult affiliate links per se -- that
I'm aware of anyway.

So without an *extremely* broad reading of the regs that seems difficult
to justify, there doesn't seem to be an *obvious* nexus between the COPPA
changes and Google's actions.  

But even if there were (or is), the COPPA changes have been coming
down the pipeline for quite some time.  The sudden announcement of a
policy change just four days ahead under such circumstances would seem
nonsensical, unless somebody seriously dropped the ball somewhere, or
a last minute interpretation caused a panicky decision to change
the formal policies at the last minute.

Overall, this isn't making a lot of sense.  There's likely a missing
factor, and whether it's COPPA or something else just isn't clear.

Unfortunately, Blogger users affected by this sudden Google policy
change are in the same boat pretty much either way.

Lauren Weinstein (lauren@vortex.com): http://www.vortex.com/lauren 
Co-Founder: People For Internet Responsibility: http://www.pfir.org/pfir-info
 - Network Neutrality Squad: http://www.nnsquad.org 
 - PRIVACY Forum: http://www.vortex.com/privacy-info
 - Data Wisdom Explorers League: http://www.dwel.org
 - Global Coalition for Transparent Internet Performance: http://www.gctip.org
Member: ACM Committee on Computers and Public Policy
Lauren's Blog: http://lauren.vortex.com
Google+: http://vortex.com/g+lauren / Twitter: http://vortex.com/t-lauren 
Tel: +1 (818) 225-2800 / Skype: vortex.com
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