Walled gardens for minors

“The European Commission has announced that 17 of the leading web firms, including Facebook, Youtube and Myspace, have all signed the code which aims to reduce incidences of cyber bullying and grooming, and to ensure the protection of personal data. The firms will provide easily accessible ‘report abuse’ buttons and tighten up the privacy settings to prevent younger users’ details appearing on search engines.”

This is a self-regulatory approach. I wonder how it will work in practice?

Then there is something going on in the U.S.  “In January, MySpace announced that it had entered an agreement with 49 state attorneys general regarding the protection of the data of minors who are using its services. The deal is supposed to complement the federal Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), which protects the data of children under the age of 13, by creating standards for the protection of data for teenagers between the age of 14 and 17. ” One of the changes includes “MySpace will create a closed section called “high school” for all users who are under the age of 18.

2 Replies to “Walled gardens for minors”

  1. This code is needed, and more than the code the likes of ‘abuse buttons’ in reality. I have had to deal with incidents of school children bullying their peers via Facebook. As this occurs outside of school time it cannot be dealt with directly by the school. However the children involved have their link together because of being at the same school. This is more of an issue than grooming or cyber-bullying by unknown persons. Either parents, outside of school, must monitor/control their children’s activities better and/or there must be a way that a school can provide assistance (such as highlighting this code to parents) without being a 24-hour guardian (which is not what it is there to be – even if teachers do care about their students).


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