Children under 13 may soon join Facebook
The social network Facebook is working on the design of a system that allows children under 13 to be supervised by their parents, according to a new patent to comply with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of United States, which prohibits children under that age use online services that collect explicit data without “verifiable parental consent”.
The patent application filed in November 2012 was published last week by the United States Patent Office and describes a system that allows parents to authorize and monitor the Facebook accounts for children.
The parent must first verify their identity, followed by their relationship with the child before allowing the establishment of the account of his son. Parents then have the control to restrict access to certain content such as friend requests, or Facebook games like Farmville and Candy Crush.
While Facebook currently prohibits children under the age of 13 to join the service, many join and use Facebook as a person online age verification is very difficult to do, especially for those without official identity document issued by the government.
Facebook has tried to make its network to minors, with around 800,000 pre-adolescents withdrawn from service through a process of selection levels in 2012, according to Consumer Reports, which estimated that there were still 5.6 million Facebook accounts of minors, many created with the help of parents.