Over the past many weeks, RateMyDrawings has been working with a great legal team to ensure we are following all the necessary laws and policies required by us. These include general operation of our business, our website terms, copyright issues, and privacy concerns.
More will be posted on each of these topics, but I did want to touch on a very important topic first - Privacy, specifically for those under the age of 13.
I've been working very hard with our legal advisers on how to meet the necessary rules governed by COPPA - The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act. Learn more about this here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Children%2 … ection_Act
Parental Consent will be required to be a member of RateMyDrawings
Without going into too much detail, what you need to know is that due to the information we collect (such as your email address), we are required by law to obtain parental consent to allow under 13's to register for our website. There will be various steps to obtaining parental consent which you will learn more about as we implement these new policies. Existing members will also be required to comply and obtain parental consent to continue their membership.
If you are a member who has an age under 13 in your account settings, it may be good to start speaking to your parents and let them know how much you love RateMyDrawings and that you may need them to help you soon with obtaining their permission to continue your membership on our community.
I have (and still am) very proud that RateMyDrawings has enabled so many young people to learn, embrace and enjoy their artistic skill on our community. I have very mixed feelings about these new rules, and have concerns that these rules will limit some children from the ability to join and enjoy our community, however we must ensure we are following all the necessary laws that were created to protect children and also ensure we are doing the right thing as a website operator.
More detailed information will be posted as these policies are implemented.
Many of you have noticed a message in your profile page talking more about these policies. We have begun implementing and allowing children under 13 to obtain their parents consent and send it to us.
Please direct your parents to this page where they can obtain this form and learn about how to send us their consent:
http://www.ratemydrawings.com/community … _coppa.php
Some common questions and answers:
Q. My parents won't sign and submit the consent form, what do I do?
A. Do your best to let your parents know how much you love our community and how important it is that you continue as a member. Make sure you send them to the consent form here http://www.ratemydrawings.com/community … _coppa.php so they can read more about why we are implementing this new policy. If they still do not wish to send the form in, you have a few options:
- If you have your parents permission, you can get your parents to edit your account, and enter their information so the account is theirs and not yours. You must however then be under their supervision while using our website and never submit any personal information of your own to our website.
- You can wait until you turn 13, then return and continue your membership. See below for more details on this.
Q. What happens if I do not submit parental consent?
A. At the end of this year, for those who are under-13 who have not sent us parental consent:
- Your account will be made inactive until we receive consent
- Your drawings will NOT be deleted, they will still be visible on the website
- Your email address and profile information will be deleted from our system
- You will not be able to log into your account your account except for the ability to do two things: (1) To change your age in case you have now turned 13 years old and (2) To submit parental consent so we can re-activate your account.
- It is VERY IMPORTANT you remember your account password, so you can access your account in the future. Since we will no longer have your email address, you will not be able to use our "forgot password" feature.
Q. Why are you doing this to under 13's? It is unfair!
A. We are required to do this by laws that were made to protect under 13's privacy. We have chosen to strictly adhere to these laws so we may continue operating our website safely for your protection and our protection as a website service provider.
Q. I sent in my consent form, how do I know it has been received and processed?
A. Go to Edit My Account, select Privacy from the left menu, then down the bottom of this page is a section called "Parental consent for childred under 13" that will let you know if your consent form has been processed and added to our system.
As the final step to our Under 13's policy, all accounts for Children under 13 who have not provided us with parental consent - your account will be made inactive on January 1, 2010.
Your drawings will remain on the website so that if you do re-activate your account in the future, your drawings will still be safe.
After this happens you will have the option to either:
- change your birthdate to indicate you are 13, which will activate your account
- provide us with parental consent so we can activate your account