The good old fashioned gift card has been around for a number of years already. It has been giving millions of consumers around the world a convenient alternative to shopping for birthday gifts or over festive periods of the year. The obvious convenience was for those who simply could never make up their minds what to buy for someone they love or value. It gave the recipient of this gift even more consumer choice, because what if the material gift they were given did not quite match their secret desires.
Shopping for children has been something of a nightmare for many parents. With good hearts and good intentions, they bought their kids gifts they believed were wanted and were needed. But it has happened that those demanding kids did not always appreciate the original gift handed over to them. But the gift card gave growing children the opportunity to do their own shopping for things they wanted. The parents could set terms and conditions in terms of the amounts they would allow their kids to spend, nothing like handing a young adult their first credit card.
It could be deemed as an introduction to responsible shopping and responsible use of limited resources. But today, like most consumer products, gift cards can be purchased online. Concerned parents and even young adults can apply for these cards online, free of charge and, through initial guidance from their new service provider, determine the gift card balance they would like to have. But there is one important concern that many parents have when allowing their growing children almost full and free use of the internet.
Understandably, for good reason, and for more serious reasons too, parents will be concerned about their children’s security. They are not in a position to hold the child’s hand while he or she shops online from the private comfort of the bedroom, or on the bus on the way to school, for that matter. For both security and for greater freedom as they grow up, kids are allowed to use mobile devices, the hardware and software needed to access the internet.
But just like the parents already are, their children are being protected online while using their gift card balance for things they need or desire. Here is one legal example to showcase. The gift card service provider does not allow any child under the age of thirteen to utilize its online services. It is being done in conforming to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, or COPPA, to use the convenient acronym online. It remains a challenge for service providers to never disclose private information of children under the age of thirteen, never mind prevent them from using their website indirectly or through a third party, but at least the effort is being made. Parents and children introduced to being responsible are told in no uncertain terms that no online products and services will be offered or sold to kids under 13.