Make under-13 not allowed clear, court tells Facebook

Make under-13 not allowed clear, court tells Facebook
New Delhi The Delhi High Court on Tuesday asked social networking site Facebook to upload a disclaimer on its home page that children below the age of 13 years cannot open an account on it.

A division bench of Acting Chief Justice BD Ahmed and Justice Vibhu Bakhru asked Facebook to not allow children under 13 years from opening an account.

Senior advocate Parag Tripathi appearing for Facebook assured the court that the site "will upload the disclaimer on its home page that children 13 years can not open the account".

"You (Facebook) can write on the home page in bold letters that children below 13 are not allowed. There is no harm in doing this," the court said.

The court also asked the central government to tell it as to what law it had for the online protection of children from being abused through the social networking sites.

The judges also asked the government to inform them on provisions in the law related to a minor using a social networking site.

"In India what is the law for a minor to use Facebook? Is it 13, 16, 18 or no law? What is the requirement under Indian law for Facebook?," the court asked from the central government's counsel who in turn told it that in US the age to use social networking sites is 13 years.

"You don't have a law for protection of minor on social networking sites? You are behind the time...the world has gone much ahead," the court said.

The court was hearing a plea that said minors were allowed to open an account with social networking sites, including Facebook, which was illegal as Indian laws don't permit it.

The public interest litigation was filed by former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ideologue KN Govindacharya.

Appearing for Govindacharya, lawyer Veerag Gupta told the court that the recent incident in Gurgaon where a police found children involved in a sex and smoke party was the latest outcome of the non-compliance of guidelines by Facebook.
Story First Published: July 16, 2013 23:03 IST

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