Social networking site MySpace plans to offer free software that allows parents to check up on their kids' profiles on the community network, according to a Wall Street Journal report published on Wednesday.
The service will require that parents install software, codenamed "Zephyr," on any home PC used by their children. The software will collect the username, age and hometown information of any user of the PC that logs onto MySpace and alert the administrator--assumed to be the parent--of any changes, the Wall Street Journal reported. Such information is already publicly available on MySpace, but because the social network's member often don't use their real names, parent may not otherwise be able to find their child's information.
The project is the latest effort at MySpace, owned by media giant News Corp., to make the social network a safer place for children. The company is being sued by the family of a 14-year-old girl, who claims the service failed to protect her from an older man that used the social network to lure her into a meeting, where she was assaulted. Such incidents have led the company to support the creation of a sex offender database that will include online identities of potential predators and lobby for a law requiring that any sexual offender be required to register such information.
Support for the latest measure appears to be lacking, according to the Wall Street Journal report. Other online firms will not participate in the program because of privacy concerns and state's attorneys general will likely not consider the measure enough protection for minors that use the service, the paper stated.
Posted by: Robert Lemos