Social networks for kids face unique challenges #thecircuit

Kids on social networks: A growing crop of social networks are racing to capture the loyalties of the Web’s youngest and most vulnerable users, The Washington Post reported.

This trend is sparking debate among lawmakers who wonder about the effects that social networks have on younger users and worry about online predators.

Social networks aimed at kids tout themselves as safe environments for children, although they acknowledge that there may be no foolproof way to block predators, the Post reported. In addition to these challenges, they also must deal with the same competitive environment that affects other social networks, such as Facebook — as well as the challenge of monetizing younger mobile users.

Microsoft, NYC announce initiative: Microsoft and the city of New York announced Wednesday that they will partner on a law enforcement initiative that aggregates public safety data in real time to evaluate threats.

Microsoft developed the program with the city, according to a news release, and New York City will receive 30 percent of the revenues on Microsoft’s future sales of the program. It is called the Domain Awareness System.

GPS tracking: The Hill reported that the American Civil Liberties Union is critical of a Monday decision out of federal appeals court that found that evidence obtained with a GPS tracking device can be used in court. The Supreme Court said in January that use of a GPS tracking device is “search” as covered by the Fourth Amendment.

In Monday’s decision, the Ninth Circuit Court ruled that evidence collected before the decision using GPS devices can be used in court. The ACLU called the decision “disappointing but narrow,” saying that the decision did not rule on whether attaching a GPS device to a car requires a warrant.

Warrantless wiretapping ruling: A federal appeals court ruling Tuesday overturned a challenge to the U.S. warrantless wiretapping law.

The case deals with two lawyers who won $2.5 million in legal fees after successfully arguing that they had been monitored without a warrant. In an interview with Wired, the attorney representing the two men, Jon Eisenberg, said that the case was the “only chance to litigate and hold anybody accountable for the warrantless wiretapping program.”

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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