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November 20, 2012

Children should be at least 13 years old to use Internet: Poll

About 18% of parents polled said their children between age group of 9-12 have their own social networking profile

By CBR Staff Writer

A countrywide study conducted in the US by University of Michigan found that majority are of view that children should be at least 13 years old to use Internet.

The University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health found that 29% of the parents with children age 9 to 12 say that their children have their own handheld Wi-Fi enabled devices, which may lead to children going online and unsupervised.

When asked about the proposed changes to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, known as COPPA, majority claimed to have supported updating federal laws that require Internet safety standards to protect kids.

About 18% of parents polled said their children between age group of 9-12 have their own social networking profile, though social networking sites like Facebook restrict access to users under age 13.

The US Federal Trade Commission is considering updating COPPA as the law was legislated in 1998, before the arrival of smartphones, applications and social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.

The new law is being considered to reflect technology advances in the past decade.

Mott Children’s Hospital director of C.S. Matthew M. Davis said: "So much has changed in the 14 years since COPPA was enacted: Facebook, Twitter and other social networks, along with applications."

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About 60% of the adults strongly supported for prohibiting websites and applications designed for kids from collecting personal information of children under age 13.

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