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HindustanTimes Mon,29 Dec 2014

Enact laws to prevent kids below 13 from opening FB, Google accounts: HC to govt

Harish V Nair, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, July 16, 2013
First Published: 22:39 IST(16/7/2013) | Last Updated: 08:10 IST(17/7/2013)

The Delhi high court on Tuesday slammed the Centre for not enacting a law to prevent persons aged below 13 years from opening accounts in social networking sites like the Facebook or Google.

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The court also asked Facebook and Google to consider putting a warning note on their homepage that it is illegal for persons under the age of 13 to open an account.

A bench headed by acting chief justice BD Ahmed was concerned that instances of adults attracting innocent children online and luring them into activities which were illegal were on the rise.

“Why don’t we have a law on the lines of Children Online Privacy Protection Act in the US? We are lagging behind while the world has moved ahead. We should change according to the need of the time. Government has to do something”, the bench told centre’s lawyer Sumeet Pushkarna.

The court said there should also be a mechanism where a person who has knowledge that a person aged under 13 has opened an account can file a complaint.

The court asked how Indian children below 18 years are allowed to open account because as per Indian law, a contract cannot be signed by anyone aged less than 18 years.

The court was hearing a petition filed by former BJP ideologue KN Govindacharya alleging permission granted to a minor was against Indian Majority Act, Indian Contract Act and Information and Technology Act.


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