QuickLinks - Age verification
QuickLinks - Age verification
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Issue no. 411 - 3 October 2010
Online Age Verification for Our Children
(Future of Privacy Forum)
A Report on the Tools and Resources Available for Safeguarding the First Generation of Digital Natives, by Jules Polonetsky.
Issue no. 399 - 7 June 2009
UK - Sites fail age verification check
A private members bill going through the House of Lords is calling for it to be mandatory for web retailers to adopt age verification systems. The bill on age-checking has the backing of charities who say it is too easy for children to buy alcohol, knives and violent video games online. A check on twelve sites found that thorough checks were not being done. The Online Purchasing of Goods and Services (Age Verification) Bill has been proposed by Baroness Massey and calls for "robust" checking systems to be used by any site selling age-restricted goods. The age-checking systems would have to be used if one of 20 separate products were sold including knives, alcohol, tobacco, age-restricted video games and DVDs, solvents and spray paints. Trading standards officers from Greenwich Council carried out tests on a number of websites to check their age verification processes. In a supervised test, a 16-year-old bought pre-paid credit cards and then went online to see if he could buy age-restricted goods with it. The credit card was registered with the minor's real date of birth and address. The teenager managed to buy knives, drink, and 18-rated DVDs and games from 12 separate online retailers.
Issue no. 395 - 27 December 2008
UK - 'Facebook for Kids' slammed by security researchers
A new social network website claiming to be a "Facebook for Kids" is riddled with security shortcomings, security researchers at Cambridge University have warned. The site - School Together Now - said that it took security seriously and promised to review the findings of the Cambridge researchers. See also
Think of the children
by Joseph Bonneau Cambridge University Light Blue Touchpaper blog.
Issue no. 394 - 7 December 2008
EU - Age verification, Cross media rating and classification and Social networking
The European Commission has published the results of a public consultation on Age verification, Cross media rating and classification and Online social networking. Download
summary report on social networking
(155 KB)and an expert
report on age verification solutions and cross media rating and classification
, including the results of the public consultation on these topics.
US - Online Age Verification for Children Brings Privacy Worries
(New York Times)
Law enforcement officials want popular sites, like the social network MySpace, to confirm the identities and ages of minors and then allow the young Web surfers to talk only with other children, or with adults approved by parents. But performing so-called age verification for children is fraught with challenges. Nevertheless, over the last year, at least two dozen companies have sprung up with systems they claim will solve the problem. Surprisingly, their work is proving controversial and even downright unpopular among the very people who spend their days worrying about the well-being of children on the Web.
Issue no. 393 - 9 November 2008
KR - Online ID verification in South Korea
(Net Family News)
The world's most connected country - South Korea, where 97% of the population has broadband Internet access - is conducting an experiment in Internet control that the world (especially the US) might do well to watch. I say "especially the US" because we're having a discussion here (at the Internet Safety & Technology Task Force) about online verification of minors' ages. The Guardian reports that Seoul is trying to "curb online anonymity and debate." New legislation, some of which is "due to pass" next month would require all forum and chatroom users to make verifiable real-name registrations (South Koreans have national ID cards). The legislation would also make all news sites subject to the same restrictions as newspapers and broadcast media, answerable to the Korean Communications Standards Commission regulatory body.
Issue no. 392 - 5 October 2008
Microsoft Pushes Digital IDs for Kids Online
Microsoft white paper
suggesting that children get digital identity cards to verify their age and better protect them online. But not everyone is convinced it's the right approach. "It's not 100 percent clear to me that there's a compelling reason to validate the age of kids going to a social networking site," Larry Magid, a technology journalist, child safety advocate and member of the Internet Safety Task Force (ISTF), told InternetNews.com. "Is the solution going to be worse than the problem?" Microsoft's suggestion came in response to the ISTF's call for solutions. The plan would require that government, schools, or private companies certify children's identities and ages based on personal documents like birth certificates.
Links to news items about legal and regulatory aspects of Internet and the information society, particularly those relating to information content, and market and technology.
QuickLinks consists of
a free newsletter appearing approximately every two to three weeks. The newsletter is distributed by electronic mail through an "announcement only" mailing list.
a Web site with frequent updates, an events page, news items organised by category as well as chronologically by issue and full text search.
QuickLinks is edited by Richard Swetenham
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