A North Carolina bill (S.B. 132) aims to protect young users of social networking sites from online predators. From SB 132 (PDF):
This proposal requires that these websites get a parentÃ¢â?¬â?¢s OK before children under 18 join and post personal information, and give parents the chance to see what their children post.
Two members of the Technology Liberation Front testified in Raleigh, and they lay out the reasons for their opposition to the bill here. Their primary arguments against the bill:
- Age verification is not synonymous with a background check.
- Even assuming we do not encounter problems with the initial sign-up phase and procedures, questions remain about follow-ups and subsequent validations.
- Will age verification mandates encourage the rise of an illegal black market in credentials?
- There are serious privacy issues at stake here, and those issues could give rise to other problems.
As Gaming Expedition reports, this is one of several bills that would require parental consent for use of social networking sites by minors.