Court query on shielding kids
The Delhi High Court Wednesday asked Facebook and other social networking sites how Indian children could be prevented from knowingly or unknowingly getting exploited by adults online.
A division bench of Justice B.D. Ahmed and Justice Vibhu Bakhru said that in the US the rights of the children were protected by Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) but what about the children in India?
“Like the American children are protected how do you protect Indian children?” asked the bench from counsel appearing for Facebook.
“What will the Facebook do if a child is exploited online? Like American children, how do you protect the rights of Indian children,” it added.
Who will protect the children, asks the bench
“What we are worried about is children who have been part of the social network and some adults misleading them and taking advantage. We are also concern about the use of their data by the adults for their advantage,” the court said.
It directed social networking sites Facebook Inc and Google Inc to submit suggestions with regard to safety measures on the online usage of sites by children/minors in India within four weeks and posted the matter for July 16.
“The counsel for Facebook Inc and Google Inc will file suggestions regarding the online media sites used by the minors in India and how their rights could be protected within four weeks,” the bench said.
The court was hearing a plea that children below 18 years were allowed to open an account with social networking sites including Facebook which was illegal as Indian laws didn’t permit it.