Sunday, February 10, 2013

"RTALabel" looks like a promising voluntary content labeling "opportunity"

Soon, I will review a book “Internet Laws” by Mike Young, but I wanted to mention, in advance, a point that he makes about another opportunity to put adult-oriented websites behind verification filters.
The service is call “RTLALabel” (link here).  The facility has considerable capability to label entire sites, individual pages in different formats, mobile sites, and Wordpress (it doesn’t mention Blogger).   The FAQ page on the site is well-worth reading. It hints that Congress could try to pass COPA-like laws in the future (even though COPA was overturned in 2007, as documented here).

RTA (“Restricted to Adults”)  is set up by the Association of Sites Advocating Child Protection, ASACP, link.
There is some material about RTA on YouTube:

As Young hints, there is also a Guide to sites that use AVS, or “Adult Verification Systems”, here. There are commission arrangements for AVS sign-ups which some might see as seedy or unethical.
Previously on this blog, I have covered the Family Online Safety Institute (FOSA) and the ICRA product, which discovered had been discontinued and last wrote about on Feb. 10, 2011. I don’t know why it was discontinued or has any connection to RTALabel now.  

It us unclear how these products could affect the constitutional or legal issues surrounding any future attempts to require adult verification to web sites.  

One other problem comes to mind right now with COPPA (not COPA);  a regular site could inadvertently collect personal information from minors without parental consent.  I talked about this last on January 1, 2013, but the matter still seems a bit unclear still, and Young mentions it in his book.  

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