From: "Ken Beal" email@example.com
I just read the article http://www.excite.com/computers_and_internet/tech_news/zdnet/?article=/news/
I don't think we need anything of the sort. What we should instead be spending our federal tax dollars on is education. Teach the children not to tell anyone how much daddy makes (and teach daddy not to tell his kids!). Teach the children that not everyone is their friend. Teach the children to be paranoid.
But making an act criminal simply because the individual they're collecting data from is one day away from their 13th birthday is insane. It's not the collecting that's the problem, it's what they do with it afterwards. People who commit *actual* crimes using the data will be charged with their crimes. But businesses which do not commit crimes with the data -- why should they be punished because a few individuals abuse trust?
If we do this, then we should also pass a law that says poll-takers in the mall need a parent's permission before they can ask a child questions. And door-to-door salesmen as well. Or take it to its logical extreme: anyone within earshot of the kid.
Education creates adults. There are far too many people today who act like children because they've been coddled all their lives, knowing the government would care for them (welfare et al). This is simply another instance of the government trying to coddle the children, and all it'll end up doing is making each and every American that much weaker.
Spend the money on education, not "thought crime"* enforcement.
Thank you for your time,
* It's a "thought crime" because just having data doesn't mean they committed a crime. The law says, in effect, "These people *will* *commit* a crime with this data because the child is under a certain age." It's judging someone based on what they may or may not do in the future. Thus, it's judging their thoughts.
PS I think it's horrible the way children are taken advantage of on the Internet. But criminalizing data collection isn't the way to solve the problem. We need to teach children how to better defend themselves.