Facebook debating contact information request for minors
Facebook has told lawmakers it is debating whether to allow third-party applications to request contact information about minors.
Reps. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) and Joe Barton (R-Tex.) asked the social network company to explain how third-party applications -- such as the game Farmville -- get contact information about users, after complaints by privacy groups and some users last fall over the practice.
Facebook vice president of global policy, Marne Levine, told the lawmakers in a letter last week that the company had allowed applications on the site to request contact information. It later suspended that program when it appeared the move "was causing some degree of concern among users."
The company said it is still evaluating whether it will allow the practice of contact information requests. And it appeared to place special scrutiny on whether apps can ask for contact information from children, too.
"Facebook considers risks to minors in all its new product features, and this is no exception, as we are actively considering whether to enable applications to request contact information from minors at all," Levin said. The firm sets an age minimum of 13 for users.
| February 28, 2011; 5:58 PM ET
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