U.S. Proposes Law To Protect Kids On Facebook

By Kenna McHugh Comment

U.S. Representative Ed Markey has proposed legislationl that would make it very difficult for anyone to go online and track young American children.

The proposa by the Massachusetts Democrat would also prevent marketers from gathering information concerning teenagers’ personal information and location.

Common Sense Media is supporting the bill in the belief that nformation technology firms are not making the correct estimation of effort to protect children from cyber bullies, scammers and marketers.

If the bill becomes law, Facebook and other social networking sites will be hit hard. Social networking attracts millions of elementary school-age children. Facebook has about 5 million users in the U.S. who are less than 10 years old, and another 2.5 million members who are 11 to 12 years old.

These kids manage to get around Facebook’s minimum age requirement of 13. The company has said it can’t do much a child lies about his or her age. Often, parents allow their kids to join the site.

Facebook already opposes proposed legislation in California that would offer parents the right to demand that sites delete kids’ personal information, including email and postal addresses — the social network has said such a law would censor freedom of expression.

Readers, do you think Facebook’s minimum age requirement of 13 sufficiently protects kids on the site, or is legislation needed?