Recently the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) has proposed to revise child privacy laws to furthermore protect kids under the age of 13 online. It’s to no surprise that this law revision targets Facebook as more than 7.5 million users under the age of 13 are registered to Facebook. Signing up for Facebook under the age of 13 goes against their Terms of Service however this doesn’t stop anybody from lying about their age. It’s suggested that Facebook may implement age verification requirements but the details on how this would be done is unknown. This law also focuses on privacy of mobile phones- used by children. The proposed law suggests that certain geolocation information can and can’t be collected. It’s to furthermore protect kids from being targeted with more information out in the wild about their whereabouts.
I believe it’s the job of the parent’s to talk to their kids about online and safety and what information they put online. I think too often, kids think that nothing will happen to them. It may also be valuable to be involved with kids’ online activity. Keep their Facebook or other social networking passwords and occasionally ‘check up on them’.
For parents that are concerned about their kids and geolocation data, it’s not a bad idea to disable the GPS feature on their phones as GPS on phones can be a powerful tool for stalkers and child predators.
To read more about the newly proposed stricter youth privacy laws visit- http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2011/09/ftc-youth-online-tracking/