Tag Archives: children

National Cyber Security Awareness Month – Children and Social Media

Social media is everywhere. Facebook alone has over two billion users. And the bottom line is that social media is how people in the world share their lives. Is that what you want your children to do? Share their lives with everybody in the world? Black people have a saying about this. Its called “putting your business in the street.”

Children and social media are a dangerous mix. Every year thousands of children and teens are contacted by sexual predators, marketers and information collectors of all sorts. These people are an extreme danger not only to your children but your household as well. Children can unwittingly give away your most sensitive information. Over sharing is a common problem on social media websites. And children can fall for social engineering where they are manipulated into revealing sensitive information. This information can seem harmless like “where do you go to school?” Or, “what time does mommy go to work?” To a child these questions may seem harmless but you can see how a predator can use this information. Other information revealed by a child or teen online add to the exploding  rate of child identity theft.

How do you protect your child on social media?

Black parents are warned that your child’s use of a computer, smartphone or tablet is not harmless. Especially if this activity is happening without your knowledge of supervision. Some parents think that children means your 8 and 10 year olds. But teens are especially vulnerable on social media. Teens are more secretive, especially black teens. So parents need to work harder to implement and enforce rules for their social media use.

  1. Learn about social media – As a parent of a child or teen you need to take the time to research and learn about the different social networks children and teens are using. Plenty of parents use Facebook or Twitter. But there are many other sites your child may be using you don’t know about. These include Instagram, Snapchat, Vine, YouTube, and Tumblr.  Two other websites that are about secrecy and anonymity are called Secret and Whisper. You can find the most popular teen social media websites here. Familiarize yourself with what teens are doing online and on social media. If you have a teen in the house you need to keep up with whats happening or be surprised by it. Doing the research will give you a better understanding of how each service works. You may wish to create your own profile on these sites and apps to understand how they work and what is happening. Monitoring your children for their own safety is a tough parenting skill. Spying can cause teens to withdraw further and become more secretive. Here is some information about talking to teens about social media.
  2. Establish some firm rules for social media useFirst set an age for social media use. Young children are enticed by children’s television programs to go online to connect with characters. You should be aware that this is often a marketing play to sell toys or children’s food products or gather information. As  such they should be closely supervised. Let your child know when they can use the computer and what age they can begin using social media websites. Most social media sites require users to be at least 13 years old to create an account. The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) prevents companies from collecting personal information about children under the age of 13 without their parents’ permission. Set times and time limits for your child’s social media use. Parents should go online with their young children and teach them social media safety early. Remember, the same rules apply online as on the sidewalk. Don’t talk to strangers.
  3. Keep the computer in a pubic area of your homeAs I said before, teens are notoriously secretive. Your teenager may be re-treating to the privacy of their bedroom to go online. Its not uncommon but it is also something to worry about. For younger children its a good idea to have the computer in a location where you can monitor your child’s activity. As for your teenager, this is where parenting gets tricky. Make sure your teenager understands the dangers of being on social media. Ask questions about what they are doing and who they are in contact with. Spying is not always the best idea but education can certainly give you some peace of mind. “Check out Teens Guide to Social Media.” Here a re few things you can do to protect your teen.
    1. A key question to ask is if they are in touch with someone they have not met personally, in person? This could be a danger sign.
    2. Make sure your teen understands that sexual predators are online. Make sure they know not to share personal information or pictures with people they don’t know.
    3. Make sure your teen understands the concept of “over sharing”.
    4. Make sure they know to never “friend the friend of a friend.”
    5. Sexting is strictly forbidden.
    6. Establish trust and honesty. Never make your teen feel he or she can’t come to you with problems and ask for advice. Finally, perform regular checks of your child’s privacy settings. Make sure your child’s social media account is as secure as possible. Block advertisers, and name and profile searches. Restrict who can see your child’s pictures, personal information and how to contact them.

Now you know.




App of the Week – mRelief

mReliefWhy, in the richest country on earth, are people still going hungry? According to Feeding America 25 – 40 percent of food grown, processed and transported in the U.S. will never be eaten. This food is often thrown out as leftovers or destroyed because it is simply not pretty enough for the grocery store.  That is why mRelief is the App of the Week.

First of all mRelief is not exactly an app. It is a new web and text messaging tool for low-income families. The service helps low income families to easily locate where and when they can receive free or discounted meals this summer for their children. According to mRelief 22 million children in the U.S. receive free or reduced-price breakfasts and lunches during the school year. But during the summer, four out of five of those same children can no longer count on a meal every day. So mRelief helps families not only find where to get free or reduced price meals but also help them locate food banks and determine their eligibility for food and nutrition assistance programs even if you don’t have children.

According to USDA statistics $11 billion in food stamps went unclaimed simply because people who are eligible either didn’t know or didn’t have access to applications. mRelief provides low-income people with the help they need to figure out if they qualify for programs like food stamps and much-needed social services.

mRelief was launched in September 2014 and has helped 30,000 families locate the social services they qualify for. mRelief is looking to the future with plans to help people determine the documents they need as well as submitting those documents.

The mRelief website is fairly straight forward. All the user needs to do is enter their zip code and the type of assistance they need. But the user can also find help with a variety of other needs that include;

  • Cash
  • Child Wellness
  • Education
  • Energy
  • Food
  • Health
  • Housing
  • Transportation
  • Veterans assistance

Those without access to the internet can text their zip code to 1-844-877-6111. mRelief is currently available in 42 states.


Technology’s Dirty Secrets Series – Child and Forced Labor

Child-Labor-in-ChinaTechnology makes our lives easier. But the world we live in has hidden corners where others suffer for our easy life. They are exploited, poisoned then buried under mountains of technology trash. These people are resigned to accept it as the way life is. This is the dirt and blood that coats the billions of dollars made manufacturing, selling and disposing of technology. In this series the African-American Cyber Report will expose the dirty secrets of the technology industry. In the second article of this series we examine the practice of child and forced labor.

In the previous report we wrote about the use of conflict minerals and the conditions of the mines where these minerals come from. We also pointed out that many children work in these mines.

The definition of child labor according to Australian based WorldVision Action report is “work that deprives children of their childhood, their potential and their dignity. Work that exceeds a minimum number of hours; work that is mentally, physically, socially or morally dangerous and harmful to children; and work that interferes with their schooling.”

The worlds largest phone and technology companies, Apple, Samsung and Microsoft, along with a list of others are being accused by Amnesty International of failing to perform even the most minor checks to ensure the minerals they use in their products are not mined by children.

According to report from United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) estimates that there are approximately 40,000 children are working in mines in the Congo alone. In these mines children, sometimes along side their parents, work with their bare hands to dig out minerals used in our modern electronics. Theses mines are extremely dangerous and little of no safety equipment is provided. Children breath toxic dust and risk injury and death deep inside mineral mines.  In a quote from a 2012 report   “Jean-Bertin, a 34-year-old Congolese activist said he wants to end the “absolute silence” around the crimes committed in his country to exploit strategic raw materials like coltan. “It’s possible that two children died so that you could have that mobile phone,” he said

Yet major technology companies continue to buy these minerals from what is essentially slave labor providers sometime denying any knowledge of child forced labor.

An investigation by Amnesty International looked in to the business of Chinese Mineral giant Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt Ltd. The company is major supplier of mineral to technology companies.

According to a BBC report Amnesty contacted 16 multinational battery manufacturers that purchased minerals from companies who in turn source minerals from Huayou Cobalt.

One company admitted to buying the mineral while four others were uncertain of source of the cobalt they used. Five others denied sourcing the mineral from the company even though company documents listed them as customers.  Six other companies said they were investigating the claims.

But the issues of child and forced labor goes well beyond the African continent and the mining industry. In Asia many companies use indentured workers, forced child labor and even kidnappings in the manufacture of electronics.

According to the World Vision Action Report China is the producer of almost half world’s electronics products. It is also where worker exploitation has been widely reported. Workers in these Chinese electronics factories receive low wages and are forced to work excessive overtime to meet astronomical production goals. Some factories fail to offer employees protective clothing and equipment. The result is that workers are exposed to hazardous chemicals and odors. Other common complaints include discrimination, verbal harassment and excessive punishment from factory management.

Even in this sector of the electronics industry child labor is still an issue. Cases have been reported where children as young as nine years old have been found working in factories making electronics.  Due to a labor shortages in China children from poor, rural areas are recruited to work in factories. Recruiters sometimes send money to the child’s family on a monthly basis as an incentive to keep their child working.

Some children are kidnapped and forced to work in the factories.  Children are transported to cities and factories where kidnappers deal with factory owners to supply child labor and offer to attend the factories to beat the children if they are disobedient.   These children are threatened and beaten to prevent them from running away and work up to 12 hours a day with no idea or hope of ever seeing their home or parents again.

World Vision Action also reported that children being forced out of school to work as “student interns” or “apprentices” in factories to pay off debts, tuition and school fees. These are the factories making our smartphones and tablets. Should a student desire to quit and return to their family, school administrators threaten to fail them.  Other measures used to coerce students to stay in the factory include factory management withholding wages or confiscating identity papers if they attempt to leave.

What has the manufacturers said about this situation. Read their statements to TechCrunch.com here.

Now you know

Technology’s Dirty Secrets Series- Mining Coltan

Congolese miners dig at a gold mine in Montgbawalu, Ituri district, eastern Congo, September 8, 2005. The Democratic Republic of Congo's government will renegotiate the existing gold exploration venture it has with AngloGold Ashanti, the world's number two gold producer, the head of Congo's state mining agency OKIMO said on Thursday. Picture taken September 8, 2005. REUTERS/Jiro Ose

Young miners digging coltan

Technology makes for a convenient life. Easy communications. Easy shopping. Easy at home and easy at work. We depend on technology for our new electric and hybrid cars, more efficient appliances and dependable access to information. Technology makes life easy…for most people.

The world we live in has hidden corners where others suffer for our easy life. They are exploited, poisoned then buried under mountains of technology trash. These people are resigned to accept it as the way life is. This is the dirt and blood that coats the billions of dollars made manufacturing, selling and disposing of technology. In this series the African-American Cyber Report will expose the dirty secrets of the technology industry starting with the mining of the raw materials.

Modern technology manufacturing begins with the extraction of certain raw materials from the earth. Cellphones and computers have inside them rare and hard to come by minerals and metals. These are often mined in African countries by people working in conditions and for wages that are simply inhuman.

The mineral coltan is found almost exclusively in Africa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  Refining coltan creates a metallic tantalum, a heat-resistant powder that can hold a high electrical charge. This electrical charge is crucial to the tiny circuit boards that power our iPhones, laptop computers, tablets and many other high-tech devices. The men who mine this rare and vital mineral dig using simple picks and shovels and sometimes their bare hands sometimes for 12 hours a day.  Workers often carry the heavy sacks of raw coltan out of the mine on their backs. Working conditions are abysmal and dangerous and there is no safety equipment or procedures.

Even though this mineral is vitally important to the technology industry wages are shockingly low for this crippling labor.  We may pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars for our electronics.  Yet these miners toil under the hot sun daily earning just $5 a day for a 12-hour day. The minimum wage is $3 a day. Living in the horrific poverty of the Democratic Republic of the Congo these men have no choice but to endure these grueling and dangerous conditions. But it is not always men suffering in these conditions. Children as young as ten are employed in the mines and deaths are a regular occurrence.

Not only are people suffering for our technology products but the land is suffering as well. Mountains are often ripped apart to mine coltan leaving the land scarred and polluted. Rivers are often filled with silt from mine runoff  that sometimes contains mercury, cyanide and other dangerous chemicals. Large tracts of forests are wiped out in search of the minerals destroying wildlife habitats.

To compound the dangers and back breaking labor is the fact that these mines are often the prize among warring groups. The wealth created by the mines have fueled repeated wars not only among rebels and warlords but also with the government of the Congo for more than 20 years.

The National Congress for Defense of People or CNDP militia have used revenue from the sale of coltan to buy weapons and ammunition in their armed struggle against the army of the DRC. Thousands of innocent miners and civilians have been killed or driven from their homes as a result of these wars. As with all wars atrocities are frequent including rape, mutilations and the use of child soldiers.

A searing 2001 United Nations Report on the ‘Illegal Exploitation of Natural Resources’, laid blame squarely on the sale of coltan and other precious minerals to multi-national corporations as the “engine of conflict in the DRC.”

Apple, Samsung and other electronics manufacturers admit they use coltan from these mines to make the smartphones we depend on everyday.  Without shame, these companies say they will will continue to do so.

In 2015 Apple reported to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission “that it is committed to driving economic development and creating opportunities to source conflict-free minerals from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and adjoining countries.”’

The company went on to say that its suppliers must adhere to its code that; “every worker deserves to be treated with dignity and respect.”

In a statement Samsung said it “recognizes the seriousness of human rights violations and environmental pollution problems of mineral mining in the Democratic Republic of Congo.”

The U.S. Dodd-Frank Financial Reform Act has led to a crack down in the use of so-called “conflict minerals.” The law requires western corporations to certify the origins of suspicious resources used in technology manufacturing such as coltan thus shutting off the cash financing warlords.

Apple, aware of the hardships suffered by those mining the mineral,  says it is dedicated to using only conflict free minerals in their products.

An Apple spokeswoman added: “The simplest path to calling Apple products conflict-free would be to redirect our demand through a small subset of smelters that are either conflict-free verified, or aren’t sourcing from Central Africa. But this approach would do little to influence the situation on the ground, something we care deeply about. That’s why we have been working to expand the number of verified sources in this region, so that more people can earn a good living, in better conditions.”

Samsung Electronics also supports the ban on conflict minerals saying,; “As a global manufacturer of consumer electronics, we understand the moral and ethical responsibility we have to our consumers and broader society. We remain committed to proactively participating in conversations and actions around the world to ban the use of conflict minerals and ensure responsibly source, conflict-free products.”

Now you know.





Black Parenting in the Digital Age

canstockphoto2780627Black parents you need to face it. It ain’t like the old days. This is the age of the Internet, cell phones, social media, text messaging and email. Your children are exposed to technology unlike any Pong game you played as a child.  As a parent you need to understand what this technology can do to your child. 

In the past your influences and experiences were limited to school, your neighborhood, family and of course television with just a few channels.

Today, using the Internet, your child can visit anybody and anyplace in the world. And the really dangerous part is that anyone from anywhere can reach out and contact your child. So as a parent how do you raise a child in the digital age?

Children are playing with electronic toys that absolutely hypnotize them with little or no parental control. That is a serious mistake. Never allow an electronic device to babysit your child.

Too many games kids play have violent content. This violence is linked to more aggressive behavior in teens. In addition to games black children are more likely to be exposed to violence in real life than other groups.

Parents also need to cut back television watching. Research shows more than ten hours of TV a week negatively affects classroom performance. African-American parents should consider the total amount of time your child spends in front of all electronic screens  including TVs, computers, movie screens.

Children who spend too much time on a computer or video game are missing out on fundamental activities that build their physical, social, intellectual, and emotional health. As your child gets older bad habits can become ingrained and are more difficult to change.

There is clear evidence that Internet and game addiction is real and as powerful as any drug. There are clear warning signs that parent need to be aware of. These include;

  • Craving more time on the computer and Internet.
  • Neglecting or disconnecting completely from friends and family.
  • Feeling restless, agitated, even angry when not engaged in computer activity.
  • Exhibiting emotional difficulty, depression, moodiness when not online.
  • Computer use interfering with school performance.
  • Being dishonest with you about computer use and online activities.
  • Withdrawing from other activities they previously enjoyed.
  • Playing or surfing online for extended hours and changes in sleep habits.
  • Poor personal hygiene, weight gain or loss.
  • Using the Internet to avoid dealing with problems or to withdraw.

Does your teen have an Internet addiction?

If you have a child or teenager that is showing these signs you have a problem as serious as any street drug. There are some things you can do:

  • Cut back on the time spent online. Unlimited access to the Internet makes stopping an addiction is nearly impossible. Set limits on the amount of time your teen is allowed to go online. If necessary keep the password a secret and budget their time online.
  • Place the computer in a family area. Many teens have  their own computer usually in their bedroom. Move the computer to a shared room so  you can keep track of how much time they spend online and supervise their online activity.
  • Talk about it. Teens are good at hiding things from parents.  Especially African-American teens. Your teen may deny having an Internet addiction. And they truly may not even be aware they have one. Talk to them. Determine why they are going online so much and what their Internet habits are to help determine if there is an addiction to be broken.
  • Get help. Like any other addiction, Internet and game addiction requires professional treatment. Therapy can help you and your teen address the addiction. If outpatient therapy is not enough you may want to consider help from a residential treatment center or therapeutic boarding school. These facilities  offer teens a supportive atmosphere where they can focus on breaking their addiction and learn healthy coping mechanisms.

We know teens are growing and exploring their world. This includes sex. Sexting has far reaching and dangerous consequences for teens that can last a lifetime. For some teens sexting seems to have  become a game that for some has had horrible consequences. AACR rule #7; “Images on the Internet are no longer yours.” And for your information black teens sext as much as whites.

Make sure your teen understands that once that image is sent or shared it can show up anywhere! Anywhere! You may not believe your teen is sexting. Think again!  Research indicates that 24 percent of high-school age teens ages 14 to 17 and 33 percent of college-age students ages 18 to 24 have sexted.  Few of them realize there are laws against sexting including serious child pornography laws.

The situation can get much worse. Thirteen percent of sexting teens attempted suicide in 2012.  The sexting suicides are not actually related to the the picture or video shared by the teen. Its what happens after the picture is shared. The resulting scandal and embarrassment can be too much for fragile teen emotions. Photos shared with a boyfriend or girlfriend can suddenly find its way into the hands of other unwanted people. The result is often taunting, harassment, bullying and extreme shame. Within the last 5 years there have been far too many cases of teens completing suicide due to a sexting incident that went very  wrong.

Now you know




Prepare Yourself for Cyber War

canstockphoto22219067Cyber warfare is real and it’s happening everyday. How long do you think it will be before you become a victim of a cyber attack? Answer; not long. Next question; are you ready?

If you have not heard about the Sony hack then you are not paying attention. If you think it won’t ever affect you you’re in trouble. Its really just a matter of time.

Black people can’t afford to remain ignorant of what’s happening in cyber space and how to respond to it. In order to avoid becoming  a casualty you need to understand what a cyber war can do to your life in an instant.

The cyber war battlefield is everywhere. This includes personal computers, smart phones, bank accounts, 401(k)s and other money management accounts, ATMs, drinking water, gasoline pipelines and stations, electrical plants and yes, nuclear plants, dams, point of sale systems in stores, traffic lights and anything connected to the Internet .

The likelihood increases everyday that the next war this nation fights will be waged on computers aimed at crippling the systems that keep the government and daily life functioning normally. In the worst-case scenario the nation could suffer a catastrophe such as the loss of major sections of the power grid perhaps an entire region of the country. We could see the erasure of millions of bank accounts, manipulating or hijacking tens of millions of identities, or disruption of air traffic control and transportation systems throughout the nation. Or all of the above at the same time

That war is here. Most recently someone, allegedly the North Koreans, hacked Sony Pictures. This was followed by someone shutting down the entire North Korean Internet. Now a group known as Lizard Squad has attacked both Sony and Microsoft. The war is upon us…now! You better get ready.

“There’s a strong likelihood that the next Pearl Harbor that we confront could very well be a cyber attack.”  – Leon Panetta, former Secretary of Defense and former director of the CIA.

What can you do to make sure you survive the next attack?

A) Don’t get caught without cash. ATM machines may be shut down and store computers  may not work. You may not be able to use credit or ATM cards. You should keep at least $500 dollars cash in a secure place in your home. When the financial system is attacked cash will be king. If you have a family you may need more. Don’t keep all your money in one account, spread it around. Keep your savings account in a different bank than your checking. With a little luck one of them may be working.

B) Keep your gas tank at least half full at all times. You may not be able to buy gas for few days or have to drive some distance to find it. And when you do find it could be very expensive.

C) Keep emergency supplies at home. Basics like non-perishable foods, a few cases of water, blankets, simple medicines, extra prescriptions, flashlights, batteries and battery powered radios, maybe charcoal or extra fuel for the barbecue grill. If you live in a cold climate at least one source of heat that does not require electricity with fuel to last a week. Also keep an emergency supply kit in your car with enough food and water for at least 24 hours.

D) Make sure you have basic tools for emergency purposes. Matches, a sewing kit, a fire extinguisher, shovel, a can opener, plastic bags, disinfectants and sanitizers.

F) Pay attention to the needs of babies, children and pets and the elderly. Something like a child’s favorite toy in time of stress and insecurity can be a big help. Prepare a back pack with some treats they like, books, games or even some school work to keep them busy. This can help re-assure a child.  Keep this back pack ready with the rest of your supplies

If you have an infant be ready with extra diapers, medicines, proper clothing and food.

For the elderly make sure you have extra medicines they may need, hygiene products such as adult diapers, special foods, clothing, glasses, hearing aids, medical supplies. You can also prepare a back pack with these items as well.

Pets need to eat and drink too. Make sure you have a way to secure your animal to keep it from roaming. And keep treats for them as well. You may need to transport a pet so keep that box handy.

Pay attention to personal hygiene. Make sure you have soapy wipes, toothpaste, deodorant, toilet paper, etc. Another nice luxury to have is a camping toilet.

G) Entertainment This is no trivial matter. There could be some long boring hours ahead. Have a way to fill these hours helps to avoid frustration, tension and boredom if the grid is down for more than a day or two.  Card games, board games and other forms of entertainment can make enduring a crisis much easier.

H) Community and Communicate. Work with your neighbors set up a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program. Divide responsibilities for things like a neighborhood watch for suspicious individuals, first aid and sharing of resources and information.

When it comes to communication you may be out of touch with family members in the affected areas or you may be the one out of touch. This is normal. The Internet, landline phones and cell phones maybe out of service for days. Don’t panic.

I) If you have to move Sometimes there are circumstances where you or you and your family will have to move from your home for safety and security. This is where you will need a full tank of gas in the family car. You will need blankets or sleeping bags and food and water and most importantly a place to go. Know where there are emergency shelters. Pay attention to any traffic information that is being broadcast and have a GPS device available. You might actually be able to use it.

Hopefully the situation will not become so bad you have to arm yourself but you never know. Act as you see fit. In many emergencies there are people who take advantage of the situation to commit crimes such a looting or burglary and even violence. Be prepared and act with restraint but protect you and yours.

J) Have A Back-Up Plan And Be Flexible –There is a saying in the military; no plan survives an encounter with the enemy. When your plan is disrupted, what will you do? It is imperative for you to have a back-up plan and to be flexible. The worst thing you can do is believe your plan is infallible.

You may have seen some or all of this information before. If so then you know it is very similar to what you need to do to prepare for a major storm or other natural disaster. You need to pay attention because I can almost guarantee that this will happen and it will be a very uncomfortable situation until it gets straightened out. You should be prepared to survive for at least three days without outside help and possibly longer.

Now you know.




Online Tracking of Children Legislation

canstockphoto5147385Senate bill s1700-113, “Safeguards Against Tracking Children Online” is currently being considered in the U.S. Senate. The bill is intended to ban online tracking of children. In the bill the definition of a child is between the ages of 12 and 16 years of age. But the legislation currently being debated is very similar to rules laid out by the FTC in 2013.

The bill is intended to prohibit corporations, marketers and other web entities from collecting personal information for marketing purposes from children and minors using web or mobile applications. The bill also establishes additional privacy protections against collecting personal or geographic location information from children and minors. The 2013 FTC rules also covered web and mobile apps.

According to a 201o Wall Street Journal report  websites that attract children and teens use cookies and other tracking instruments more than sites aimed at adults. The WSJ studied  50 popular U.S. websites for children and teens. It was discovered that these sites installed 4,123 cookies, beacons, and other tracking tools on the simulated child’s computer used for the test.  That is 30% higher than tools used to track adults. 

According to Common Sense Media and the Center for Digital Democracy over 90% of adults surveyed did not believe it was okay for advertisers to collect information about a child’s location from that child’s mobile phone.

Just a year ago the Federal Trade Commission released new and tougher rules designed to limit tracking of children online. The new rules stopped the collection of  personal information for children under 13.  The FTC rules also banned tracking a child’s physical location and the collection of  photos, videos and audio files. Also banned was behavioral advertising aimed at children without parental notice and re-targeting of ads based on the child’s browser history.

After the release of the new rules in 2013 Jeffrey Chester of the Centre for Digital Democracy said, “This is an important victory for privacy rights on the Internet.” The Centre for Digital Democracy spent four years lobbying for the new rules.

“There is no more secret tracking or behavioral tracking,” Chester says.

The 2013 rule changes were applauded by many public health and consumer and digital rights groups. Also endorsing the new rules were the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the Consumers Union and the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

The current Senate bill was introduced in November of 2013

Breaking It Down

First of all let me say this to black parents; don’t let a computer or tablet babysit your child! What you just read was that companies have been collecting information about your child and, in a round about way, information about you. If a child answers a simple question such as what school they attend a marketer can quickly discern your income and other data. Did you read the part where  some marketers had collected pictures, location and audio recordings of children? We have to protect our children from the onslaught of marketers who will stop at nothing to advertise to children. Why are they advertising to children? Because the earlier in life a child begins to associate with a product the more likely they will become lifelong customers. Because advertising to children creates demand for products. Because advertising to children creates profiles in data bases in some company’s computers. And those profiles tell the marketer where to advertise to that child now, where as they get older and maybe for the rest of their life. Because children are not old enough to understand the connection between online games and entertainment and product affiliation and thus are being manipulated. Advertisers have no mercy and few scruples. For example, have you noticed how many new fruit flavored beers and liquors are being advertised? These people are advertising to teens! Get them associated with some new apple flavored ale early and they will be customers for life. Clothes, cars, fast food, alcohol, technology, whatever it is . The marketers job is to get into your child’s head early.