Recap: Family Online Safety Institute Conference

The Apps Alliance enjoyed attending the Family Online Safety Institute Conference (FOSI) in Washington, DC this week! The FOSI conference, titled "Redefining Online Safety," interpreted online safety for today's families, highlighted strategies to keep families safe, and explained techniques for determining risk while also still enjoying the benefits of the internet.

Here are a few takeaways we wanted to share with you:


Acknowledge Risk

  • IoT presents new challenges for traditional privacy principles.
  • If people are going to feel safe and comfortable using technologies as well as operate in an environment where data is shared in robust ways, companies will have to rethink how data is protected.
  • Are notice and choice enough in the context of privacy? Notice serves different functions, including a basis for regulation, but companies need to rethink how notice is given and redesign it with transparency in mind.  Consent might not make sense everywhere anymore, but there will always be sensitive information that requires consent to collect. Notice and choice shouldn't be thrown away, but appropriateness of these elements should be determined.

Mitigate Harm

Apps Alliance VP of Law, Policy, and Government Relations, Tim Sparapani, spoke on the Privacy: Exposed Panel.

Apps Alliance VP of Law, Policy, and Government Relations, Tim Sparapani, spoke on the Privacy: Exposed Panel.

  • Accountability is key. Responsibility falls on companies to make sure data is used responsibly and should be able to demonstrate that, if asked.
  • Accountability should be applied in a way that’s practical, but makes clear what the ground rules are in this environment, so that app developers and device creators have clear boundaries.
  • The FTC is helping parents by providing resources, such as the Net Cetera guide, and by taking action when parents are not provided with truthful or adequate information to make meaningful choices for their children.
  • In order to make good policy choices, we need good data. Providers should be encouraged to keep better track of data on the users and deployment, understand the E-rate program, and to make as much of that data available as possible.
  • Making sure you communicate how data collected, what you’re doing with it, who has access to that data, and what level of data it is also imperative.

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Privacy: Exposed Panel 

Privacy: Exposed Panel 

  • Companies need to build out what accountability looks like, appropriate collection, use, and protection of data, and keep in mind that they're dealing with developing markets. There is not a one-size-fits-all solution to this issue. 
  • Data can benefit consumers in three specific ways:

    • Personalizing the education process

    • Providing faster feedback mechanisms

    • Creating a better process for identifying students at risk

Posted by:

Michelle Lease

Government Relations Associate