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Should the Government Be involved in Verifying Minors' Age Online?

The government is involved in mandating and monitoring compliance with age limits for all kids of things, but is mostly hands off when it comes to the internet (background: more here http://bit.ly/1apKnul). Could a system work where the government issues an Internet License, akin to a drivers' license?

Seeking Opinion Safety & Privacy 3 years ago
Rob Zidar expert
Rob Zidar
Co-Founder, ThirdParent
US

1 expert and 1 parent have answered

expert answer
Chris Puttick expert
Chris Puttick CEO, chief assistant to the duck GB
E-safety expert

No. Unless you issue this to all children, from birth. Because age-appropriate is not just about arbitrary age limits of 13, or 16 or 18 or 21. Age appropriate is relative to your age, as well as to your stage of development, cultural norms etc..

If a government issued something like that, it would only work for sites based in that country, not prevent someone from reaching similar content on international sites. It could be made to be mostly effective if governments had strong network security technologies in place at their countries network perimeters, which included (but could not be limited to) web filters that operated at a URL level and included HTTPS interception technology.

Do you want websites to know how old your children are? Have effectively a method of tracking your activity from "my first browse" onwards?

Ensuring a child only gets access to content that is appropriate to their age, development stage and cultural value set is something that needs to be managed by parents, teachers and other responsible adults, as they are the ones that know that in relation to a given child. Some might need better tools for the job though - we're working on it!

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Fact 3 years ago
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Experience 5 months ago

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