July/August 2017

Join CCFC and Matt Damon for a special event; Protect your child’s privacy this school year; We’ve met our match – thanks!; CCFC to FCC: Don’t roll back important protections for kids; California and Massachusetts move to protect internet privacy; Book Review: Adcreep: The Case Against Modern Marketing; Recommended reading.

Newsletter HTML: 

In this Issue: 

  • Join CCFC and Matt Damon for a special event
  • Protect your child’s privacy this school year
  • We’ve met our match – thanks!
  • CCFC to FCC: Don’t roll back important protections for kids
  • California and Massachusetts move to protect internet privacy
  • Book Review: Adcreep: The Case Against Modern Marketing
  • Recommended reading

Join CCFC and Matt Damon for a special event

We are excited to be hosting the Boston premiere of the acclaimed film Backpack Full of Cash on September 13! This feature-length documentary explores the growing privatization of public schools and the resulting impact on America’s most vulnerable children. Filmed in Philadelphia, New Orleans, Nashville, and other cities, it takes viewers through the tumultuous 2013-14 school year, exposing the world of education “reform” where public education – starved of resources and awash in standardized testing – hangs in the balance. Immediately after the film, the film’s narrator Matt Damon, Nancy Carlsson-Paige, CCFC’s Josh Golin, and Boston Teachers Union President Jessica Tang will discuss what we can do to stop the corporatization of our public schools. The filmmakers will also be in attendance. The premiere and discussion are free and open to the public and we hope to see all our Boston-area supporters there! Click here for more information, or here to share the event on Facebook.

Protect your child’s privacy this school year

With the first day of school just around the corner, it's the perfect time to download the Parent Toolkit for Student Privacy, a free resource from CCFC and the Parent Coalition for Student Privacy! Schools maintain digital dossiers with ever-growing amounts of personal information about students—things like test scores, income levels, social security numbers, and even immigration status. But most schools don't have strong policies to keep that information safe or prevent it from being shared with third parties. Our month-by-month calendar will guide you through how to use the Toolkit this year to take real steps to protect your child’s privacy.

We’ve met our match – thanks! 

Thanks to our generous donors, we met Board member John Mack’s challenge! John challenged us to raise $25,000 from friends like you before the end of our fiscal-year -- and when we did, he matched it. Thanks so much to everyone who contributed. Your support goes a long way in preventing advertisers from interfering with kids’ right to a commercial-free childhood. 

Did you mean to give, but haven’t yet? We’re grateful for contributions any time of year, so please donate now!

CCFC to FCC: Don’t roll back important protections for kids

CCFC and our friends at the Center for Digital Democracy are calling on the Federal Communications Commission to reject an effort by major media companies to eliminate or weaken important rules for children’s television. CBS, Disney, Fox, Univision, and others have asked the FCC to eliminate restrictions on product placement on kids’ shows and reconsider rules that require broadcasters to provide quality educational programming as part of their obligation to serve the public interest. In comments filed last week, CCFC and CDD asked the FCC to reject these industry proposals. As CCFC’s Josh Golin explained, “It is extremely disappointing that broadcasters want to join the race to the bottom when it comes to exploiting children’s developmental vulnerabilities for profit.”

California and Massachusetts move to protect internet privacy

After the Trump administration rolled back federal rules protecting kids and families online, CCFC is helping states push back. ISPs are now free to share customers’ private data—including browsing history and location information—without explicit permission from the customer. This data, which includes information about and created by children, is a boon to ISPs and advertisers who are hungry to target users with personalized advertising. In July, CCFC testified in support of proposed laws in California and Massachusetts that would put vital protections back in place. It’s a matter of fairness: corporations should not share and profit from personal information of children and families without being clear about their intentions and getting consent up front.

Book Review: Adcreep: The Case Against Modern Marketing

Marketers are creeping into every corner of our lives, turning historically ad-free spaces like schools and parks into marketing opportunities, and using digital technologies to spy on us in order to target us with custom ads. In his insightful new book, Adcreep: The Case Against Modern Marketing, Mark Bartholomew, a professor at the University at Buffalo School of Law, examines the impact of this commercial onslaught and the failures of our legal system which have enabled it.

“If humans naturally build their identities from the cultural materials surrounding them,” Bartholomew writes, “the growing omnipresence of advertising must be influencing the formation of modern identities.” Marketers persuade us to “build our own brand” (with their products, of course), using our desire to be independent to mask the fact that we’re being targeted with a sales pitch, enlisted as spokespersons, and convinced that all of this selling is just normal. 

But just like CCFC, Bartholomew has hope that consumers can turn the tide. The final chapter lists several “prescriptions for change,” including government watchdogs getting back on the beat, and coordinated action for citizens to fight the new advertising culture. That is precisely where CCFC comes in! If you’re committed to this fight, Adcreep is a great resource. 

Recommended reading