Facebook May Face Tighter Age Rules

sydney-morning-herald-logoTighter age limits could be placed on the use of Facebook in Australia with state and federal attorneys-general meeting to consider issues with children using the social networking site.

The attorneys will also consider whether parents should be given legal rights to access their children's Facebook page to ensure their protection from online predators and to limit access to unsuitable material.

South Australian Attorney-General John Rau said it was not unreasonable to give parents assistance to protect and supervise their children in an environment that was largely unregulated and unsupervised.

While signing up to Facebook currently requires users to be aged at least 13, there is no requirement to provide proof of age.

An options paper to be considered by the attorneys-general would consider the merits of raising the age limit and also requiring proof.

"I can't see why it shouldn't be possible, at least in theory, for the process of signing up and becoming a member of Facebook be age-related," Mr Rau told reporters ahead of the meeting of attorneys-general in Adelaide on Thursday.

"There would need to be some process of verification where age would be required for people to become a member of Facebook in Australia.

"That may be the simplest way to deal with the problem."

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