Feeds

Facebook defends teen security tricks

No change is good

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

RSA Facebook has defended its privacy protection despite the possibility that this has been circumvented for the first time by an alleged sexual predator.

The teen-tastic site's chief privacy officer Chris Kelly told security experts Facebook offers a robust system to protect identities of its 16 million participants and to exclude pedophiles. Facebook uses a combination of algorithms to spot dodgy traffic with "real-world" social techniques.

He rejected employing technology such Zephyr at MySpace, which enables parents to track their children's name, age and sites visited in MySpace, and objected to emailing Facebook participants about potential dangers online and safety steps as tantamount to spam.

Kelly, speaking during an RSA Conference panel on youth and the internet, offered his re-assurances despite an Illinois man having been arrested the day before for allegedly using Facebook to lure a 15-year-old boy while posing as a teenage girl. He told the Chicago Tribune this was the first time Facebook has been used to contact a minor for predatory reasons

Facebook, of course, made its mark as a network for college students, with participants using university-based email address to access the service.

The site is broadening its catchment pool to include school kids. As most schools don't offer pupils email networks, Facebook has introduced a system where new members can be invited to join - presumably by other students.

Highlighting this system's inherent weakness in keeping out adults, Kelly suggested one way for anxious parents to keep an eye on their teens would be to get their own Facebook profile and "befriend" their child online.

But reports that one in seven children are sexually propositioned online has now propelled politicians to act on social networking sites. Bi-partisan legislation was last week introduced by senators John McCain and Charles Schumer that would force offenders to submit their email addresses and online identities and that would allow social networking sites and law enforcement to detect screen out sexual predators. Facebook, like MySpace, are backing the Keeping the Internet Devoid of Sexual Predators (KIDS) Act of 2007.

In the meantime, Facebook is working on a set of tips for online safety for use by schools.®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Webcam hacker pervs in MASS HOME INVASION
You thought you were all alone? Nope – change your password, says ICO
You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes
Free anti-virus software, expires, stops updating and p0wns the world
USB coding anarchy: Consider all sticks licked
Thumb drive design ruled by almighty buck
Attack reveals 81 percent of Tor users but admins call for calm
Cisco Netflow a handy tool for cheapskate attackers
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Managing SSL certificates with ease
The lack of operational efficiencies and compliance pitfalls associated with poor SSL certificate management, and how the right SSL certificate management tool can help.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.