Facebook Exploring Ways to Give Kids Under 13 Access
Facebook is ready to take on the tikes, according to the Wall Street Journal which stated that Facebook was developing new technology to allow children under 13 years old to access the social networking site with parental supervision.
Now that Facebook has gone public and reached more than 900 million users, they're looking for ways to enter new markets which includes our children. Currently Facebook requires users to be 13 years or older.
By law, websites must adhere to the strict guidelines set forth by the FTC which oversees the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). "COPPA prohibits operators of websites and online services from collecting or disclosing what is called ‘personally identifiable information’ from children under the age of 13 without parental consent. Personally identifiable information includes the child’s name, birth date, home address, e-mail address, and Social Security number. If an operator is going to collect such information, COPPA requires the operator to provide notice to parents of what information will be collected and how it will be used. This law applies to all sites collecting birth date information, and you may have noticed that a lot of sites restrict their use to users over the age of 13 to avoid violating it. This law is specifically addressed at sites and services directed at children, or that have knowledge that they are collecting information from children under the age of 13." via Chrissie Scelsi
With COPPA violations landing brands like Sony BMG and Xanga in hot water with their $1,000,000 fines, companies are quick to avoid the red tape and paperwork that is required.
Last year Zuckerburg stated his interest in lowering the minimum age of Facebook users saying, "That will be a fight we take on at some point," he said. "My philosophy is that for education you need to start at a really, really young age." It appears Zuckerburg is ready to fight, as the Wall Street Journal stated, Facebook recently said that some of its $650,000 in first-quarter lobbying spending concerned the COPPA review.
Consumer Reports found that 7.5 million Facebook users are by children under 13 which means it is becoming increasingly more difficult for parents to restrict their child's Internet access, especially as services like Facebook are becoming so heavily marketed across different mediums.
Parents: Do you allow your children under 13 to use Facebook? If so, how do you monitor their activity?
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