Tuesday, June 08, 2010

California Bill Prevents Social Networking Sites from Displaying Home Address & Telephone # – How can this be…bad?

"There’s a bill moving in California (SB 1361) that restricts how social networking sites display the personal information of 13 to 17 yr olds. It’s billed as a privacy bill and at first glance seems relatively harmless — after all, kids don’t need to be broadcasting their contact information, right? Maybe. It all depends.

It depends on the situation, obviously. We teach our kids to recognize risky situations and to react appropriately.

But whether or not teens are at risk by publishing their telephone numbers is not the threshold question here. The law presumes such and I’m not aware of any specific findings offered in testimony about the bill.

Instead, the issue at hand is whether we need a law to restrict social networking websites from publishing certain information from teenagers. And with any law, there’s always the corresponding principle of unintended consequences."  
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