Librarians also face decisions regarding library patrons’ information privacy on the Internet. Threats to online information include the USA PATRIOT Act,Error: Reference source not found cookies, COPPA, and CIPA.
The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), went into effect April 21, 2000 (Federal 1999). COPPA requires that commercial Web sites must have documented parental consent to collect ”personally identifiable information (including an e-mail address) from children (COPPA 2002). However, this law does not mean that librarians must reveal to a parent what a child views on the Internet, or even what a child reads.
Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) (2000)
The Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) is a law passed by the federal government in December, 2000 to speak to concerns regarding children's access to the Internet from schools and libraries. CIPA requires that institutions that receive federal E-Rate or Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funds) filter all of its Internet terminals to block access to sites defined as obscene, child pornography, or harmful to minors.
The American Library Association challenged the law in a Philadelphia district court in May 2002. The court ruled that CIPA violated first amendment rights of library users, however, the government appealed the decision. On June 23, 2003, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed the lower court decision and upheld CIPA ruling that CIPA does not violate the First Amendment.