Facebook Mulls Letting Kids Under 13 Aboard

The potential move could be fraught with privacy concerns

By Sam Schulz
|  Monday, Jun 4, 2012  |  Updated 6:19 AM CDT
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Facebook is exploring options for letting kids under 13 use the site with parental supervision.

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Facebook's 13-and-up age cut-off could soon be a thing of the past.

The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that the social media giant is working on plans to let kids use the site with their parents' supervision.

The potential move could be fraught with privacy concerns.

But with many children already lying about their ages to create Facebook pages, executives believe they have no choice but to establish better parental controls in consideration of a federal law that requires verifiable parental consent before collecting data on kids under 13, according to the Journal.

Some of the plans being considered, people familiar with the discussions told the paper, include links between kids' and their parents' accounts and requirements that parents approve every friend request and application use, the Wall Street Journal reported.

A move to legitimize kids' use of Facebook could help the site avoid running afoul of federal regulators, after studies in the last year have begun to give a fuller picture of how many kids might be using the site improperly.

It could also prove a revenue boon to Facebook, which has spurred public doubts about its financial prospects as its stock price has slid following its May 18 initial public offering. The site hopes to edge into the market for kids' games that Apple and Google now rule.

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