Report: Facebook Eyes Child-Users
Especially now that Facebook is a public company, analysts are wondering how the social network will maintain growth. Perhaps answering that question, Facebook reportedly developing technology that would let kids younger than 13-years-old use its service under parental supervision. Fraught with risk, it’s “a step that could help the company tap a new pool of users for revenue but also inflame privacy concerns,” The Wall Street Journal writes.
As sources tells WSJ, tools being tested include those that connect kids’ accounts to their parents' -- controls would let parents decide whom their kids can "friend" and what applications they can use. “The under-13 features could enable Facebook and its partners to charge parents for games and other entertainment accessed by their children,” WSJ notes, citing sources.
As it stands, Facebook prohibits users under the age of 13. Yet, it’s generally recognized that many underage users lie about their ages to get accounts, which as WSJ points out, puts the company in a difficult position regarding a federal law that requires sites to obtain verifiable parental consent before collecting personal data from children.