Facebook explores access for children

According to a report by The Wall Street Journal, Facebook is exploring options with a new technology for children under 13 years old to have access to the social networking site that will enable their parents to supervise their activity.
This can be achieved by linking children’s accounts to those of their parents, who will be able to control who their children ‘friend’ on Facebook and the apps that they use.
According to the report, people who have spoken to Facebook executives regarding this new technology have said that Facebook may use it as an opportunity to charge parents for access to various games and entertainment by their children.
However, any new technology developed that could lift a ban on children may never actually be implemented, as it happens with many other features that Facebook tests.
Although Facebook currently restricts users under the age of 13 utilising the site, studies have shown that as much as 38% of them are in fact under the age of 12 and lying about their age to be part of the social networking site. By allowing children of this age group access, Facebook could significantly increase its user base.
Facebook prohibits access to children under the age of 13 because federal law in the U.S. requires parental consent for any information collected from them. Rather than implement ways to obtain consent from parents, Facebook, among other online companies, simply ban those children altogether.

In a recent statement Facebook said that many recent reports have highlighted “just how difficult it is to enforce age restrictions on the Internet, especially when parents want their children to access online content and services. We are in continuous dialogue with stakeholders, regulators and other policymakers about how best to help parents keep their kids safe in an evolving online environment.”
Do you think Facebook should allow children under the age of 13 access if it can do so safely?
Source: Business Week