MySpace Plans Parent Software

In an attempt to appease government critics, MySpace plans to offer free parental notification software, named "Zephyr", to find out what name, age and location their children use to represent themselves on MySpace. Parents would not, however, have access to their children's email or profile pages. The software would also alert children that their parents have access to their information. 33 US state attorneys general are currently considering a lawsuit against MySpace if the company does not raise the minimum age limit to join the site from 14 to 16, and begin verifying members' ages.

The site is very popular among teens and continuously has to deal with public criticism regarding children providing too much personal information – the challenge is to add safety features without alienating teenagers. Zephyr could potentially violate privacy rights as well as be used by people who are not the parents of the children being monitored. Facebook, Xanga – two competing social networking sites are against the "Zephyr" idea while companies Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and AOL have not said whether they would join the effort.

News source: Australian IT

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