California SB 242

This was posted on TechCrunch 5-16-11 And to comply we would have to grant parents access to that account. How would one verify that the person asking for access is indeed the parent? I can't see how that can be coded. Any thoughts?

California SB 242, proposed by Sen. Ellen Corbett, would force social networks like Facebook to allow parents access to their child’s account(s) and, more importantly, force all privacy settings to their maximum level by default. Parents can request that images or text be removed from any social network page “upon request … within 48 hours upon his or her request.”

Here’s the interesting part: any social network failing to perform these duties will get hit with a $10K fine per incident. Obviously this is a state-level law and does not apply nationally (yet) and it does smack of the nanny state. However, being able to access my own son’s Facebook page in the event of some tragedy real or imagined would give me peace of mind but be wildly invasive. This would also bump up against problems like children in divorced families and/or emancipated youngsters.

“This legislation is a serious threat both to Facebook’s business in California,” said Facebook rep Andrew Noyes and, to be fair, it is: it gives parents the chance to launch frivolous requests 24/7 and there is a slippery slope here that could result in anyone editing anyone’s accounts – after all, if you’re able to edit your kid’s pages when he or she is under 18 what’s to stop the requests from coming in after they come of age?

The bill is now on its way to the Senate after moving through legislative committee. Rest assured it won’t be passed without a fight.

  • My real concern is this: force all privacy settings to their maximum level by default

    Will this mean making a better way for handling privacy in Elgg? Like easier access  for it?

  • We had quite similar problem in Poland some time ago. European Union introduced some restrictions for publishing content, our government added much stricter restrictions of their own. The law was changed during voting, after strong protests.

    Any law restricting publishing of content in one country and not all would just harm portals from this single country and would make them less competitive. It's enought to move server abroad to go around such law.

  • The only way that I can think of to verify that it is a parent, would be to ask for a credit card through a gateway. The email that was used for the credit card would be the the parent of the minor but even this is failable. I think it is just big brothers move trying to protect everyone, much like Evan's comment above. Instead of moving this comment quietly, felt it nessasry to point out that he has the power and is moving the topic and I am an idiot for posting it in the wrong place. I will ask you Evan, what does your question have to do with this topic? Why not contribute your wise and sage advise, Evan? Gosh Evan, since FSW Group was started by you, didn't you think that the question was directed to you or your staff as a creators of code and will have implications accross how other social platforms may deal with this new concern?

  • Apologies -- offending post deleted.

  • I was the who added the [admin] comment to Evan's comment about moving the post. And yeah, this group is a much better place for this discussion.