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Proposals to record the age of youngsters when buying mobile phones
Date:11/20/2012

ts results suggest that the Spanish Government needs to work with families and schools to promote awareness campaigns on proper mobile phone usage.

In addition, emphasis was placed on the need to reach an agreement with operators so that they can get the opinion of parents and incorporate filtering services. These would include access and download bans on pornographic photographs and videos, SMS and MMS sending restrictions, internet purchasing restrictions and bans on participation in contests and competitions.

"Up until now we thought we could control youngsters' access to the internet on the household desktop by locating it in a visible place, for example, and ensuring that children use the internet properly. But, smartphones have opened up new doors," warns De Miguel, who also highlights the recent advance of mobile applications (apps) and, above all, the use of social networks like Tuenti and Facebook amongst minors.

"One of the main problems is that children under the age of 14 can easily gain access despite it being prohibited under Spanish legislation," outlines the researcher. "As a result, the only available resource would be the electronic ID card, but its short term implementation is a long way away."

In any case, if the youngster is older than 14 and provides their real identity, "the social network is then both legally and socially responsible to offer more than enough protection so that the user can enjoy the site without problems."

The researchers are now appealing to social networks to implement measures such as closed profiles by default, the use of passwords and clearer information, as well as teaching youngsters how to use social networking sites and protect their privacy.


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FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology
Source:Eurekalert  

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