Submission Number: 561789-00082
Received: 9/24/2012 5:20:40 PM
Commenter: Joshua Garrett
Organization: Creativity, Inc.
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Initiative: 16 CFR Part 312; Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule; Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking; Project No. P104503
Attachments: No Attachments
My name is Joshua Garrett and I am Vice President of Development at Creativity, Inc, the founder of the Silicon Valley Apps for Kids Meetup group, which is now well over 500 members. I am writing to express my concerns about the Federal Trade Commission's proposed changes the COPPA law. Creativity, Inc., is a leading provider of audio production, content development, design, and engineering for electronic toys, games, apps, and learning products. As the Vice President of Development, I spend much of my time working on the kinds of digital experiences for kids that are governed by COPPA.
Based on my experience with Creativity, Inc., and the Silicon Valley Apps for Kids group, I have two major concerns with the proposed changes to COPPA.
1. Proposal Could Push App Stores to Drop all Kids Content – The new "reason to know" standard that the FTC is proposing would likely push curated app stores (most notably iTunes) to drop all kids apps from their stores. Despite the tremendous amount of innovation, creativity, and opportunity being churned about by kids app developers, it does not represent a massive amount of revenue for the app stores themselves. Therefore, the potential liability created by this change would likely force Apple and others to simply stop allowing kids apps on their stores. This would harm the kids app ecosystem, but most importantly it would harm the education of our kids. It would also would have the unintended side effect of pushing kids into playing with ADULT apps, as they would be more readily available and easier to navigate.
2. $10,000 is a lot of Money for Kids App Developers – The FTC estimates their new rules will force app developers to spend around $10,000 in legal advice to comply with the proposed changes in law. While this is unlikely to affect many of Creativity Inc.’s larger clients, it would affect our ability to put out our own apps as a small independent developer. Most kids apps do not earn $10,000 in the course of a year of sales. If we add another $10,000 in startup costs for kids app developers, we will have a lot less kids app developer and a lot less competition and innovation in the space.
Today the kids app market is incredibly vibrant with thousands of developers, over 500 of which are members of the Silicon Valley Kids App Meetup. If the FTC does not change its approach to COPPA, that entire market and immense educational benefits it provides could be wiped out.
Thank you for your consideration.